Squabbles in nightclubs are most likely to happen on or near the dance floor, a new study has found. According to the researchers, after the dance floor, the second most aggressive spot is at the bar.
The researchers sought out "hot spots" for aggression in nightclubs and bars, paying more than 1,300 visits to 118 places in Toronto. They got the lay of the land and studied the aggressive behaviour of liquored-up patrons during prime-time partying hours, on Fridays and Saturdays between midnight and 3 a.m.
The aggressive behaviour was rated on a scale from 1, for non-violent squabbles, to 5, for straight-up smackdowns.
When considering areas where patrons can move around, the researchers associated "aggression" with sexual activity and overcrowding. In areas where seating is offered, they looked at patron intoxication and rowdiness. According to msnbc.com, the researchers found that twenty percent of the scuffles occurred on the dance floor.
"There's a lot of sexual aggression and aggressive horseplay on the dance floor in late night, large-capacity bars and night clubs," the New York Daily News quoted Kathryn Graham, one of the study's authors and a senior scientist at the Centre for Addiction and mental Health in Toronto as saying.
They also found that more than fifteen percent of the incidents occurred near the bar, likely a result of overcrowding.
"I suspect that a lot of the aggression near the serving bar was in the form of male-to-male violence where egos are on the line when people get bumped. "It may also be that this is a good place to hang around if you're looking for trouble," Graham said.
They also found that the third riskiest spot for aggression was at tables, followed by the establishment's hallways, aisles, stairs, entrance and pool tables. The study has been published in the Drug and Alcohol Review.