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Researching Health in Ontario Communities Project, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (2012) in collaboration with the Windsor Essex Community Drug Strategy.


During the summer of 2012, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) completed a bar-goer study of people who visited Windsor-Essex downtown bars.

The researchers wanted to understand drinking behaviours of young adult bar-goers and alcohol-related harms. The goal of collecting bar-goer information is to help our community improve the safety of young people as they go to the downtown bar district.

The average bar-goer was about 22 years of age. It was found that:
  • About 32% of the men and 38% of the women did not attend school.
  • About 44% of the men attended university and 23% attended college.
  • About 42% of the women attended university and 20% attended college.

Pre-drinking Behaviours

The study reported that almost 60% of men and 35% of women reported drinking before going to a bar. This is called pre-drinking. Pre-drinking usually happens in a home. One of the reasons why a person may drink at home and then go to a bar could be to save money. However, this study showed that men who drank before going to a bar actually drank more than the men who did not pre-drink.

The study found that men who pre-drank, drank an average of 10 drinks at the bar while the men who did not pre-drink, drank an average of less than 5 drinks at the bar. Not surprisingly, pre-drinkers got drunk more often. 

Fifty percent of the pre-drinkers had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level higher than 0.08%. A little more than 34% of men who did not pre-drink had a BAC over 0.08%. 

Men who drank before going to a bar were more likely to:
  • Have unplanned sexual activity.
  • Forget where they were.
  • Forget what they did.

Sexual Aggression Toward Women

For the study, sexual aggression was defined as unwanted touching or making sexual advances and refusing to take no for an answer. 

The majority of women in the study experienced negative attention from men, for example:
  • More than 57% felt uncomfortable.
  • More than 68% felt disrespected.
  • More than 15% felt violated.
  • More than 14% felt embarrassed.
  • More than 7% felt humiliated.

In addition to feeling negative attention from men, some women felt flattered (more than 22%). Also, the majority of women did not take the men seriously (more than 47%).  

To learn more call us at 519-258-2146 ext. 3100.

Read more about responsible drinking:

Canada's Alcohol Low-Risk Drinking Guidelines

Rethink Your Drinking 


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