Poop Essay

2182 WordsApr 22, 20139 Pages
History Alcohol has played a central role in almost all human cultures since Neolithic times (about 4000 BC). All societies, without exception, make use of intoxicating substances, alcohol being by far the most common. There is convincing evidence that the development of agriculture - regarded as the foundation of civilisation - was based on the cultivation of grain for beer, as much as for bread. The persistence of alcohol use, on a near-universal scale, throughout human evolution, suggests that drinking must have had some significant adaptive benefits, although this does not imply that the practice is invariably beneficial. From the earliest recorded use of alcohol, drinking has been a social activity, and both consumption and behaviour have been subject to self-imposed social controls. Attempts at prohibition have never been successful except when couched in terms of sacred rules in highly religious cultures. Behavioral effects There is enormous cross-cultural variation in the way people behave when they drink. In some societies (such as the UK, Scandinavia, US and Australia), alcohol is associated with violent and anti-social behaviour, while in others (such as Mediterranean and some South American cultures) drinking behaviour is largely peaceful and harmonious. This variation cannot be attributed to different levels of consumption or genetic differences, but is clearly related to different cultural beliefs about alcohol, expectancies regarding the effects of alcohol and social norms regarding drunken comportment. The findings of both cross-cultural research and controlled experiments indicate that the effects of alcohol on behaviour are primarily determined by social and cultural factors, rather than the chemical actions of ethanol. Alcohol-related problems In global statistical terms, physical, psychological and social problems associated with

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