Nightlife Violence: A Gender-Specific View on Risk Factors for Violence in Nightlife Settings: A Cross-Sectional Study in Nine European Countries

Schnitzer S, Bellis MA, Anderson Z et al.
Journal of Interpersonal Violence


Within nightlife settings, youth violence places large burdens on both nightlife users and wider society. Internationally, research has identified risk factors for nightlife violence. However, few empirical studies have assessed differences in risk factors between genders. Here, a pan-European cross-sectional survey of 1,341 nightlife users aged 16 to 35 assessed a variety of risk-taking traits, including violence, sexual, alcohol, and drug-related current and historic behaviors. Results show that the likelihood of having been involved in a physical fight in nightlife increases with younger age, drunkenness, and increasing preference for tolerant venues for both genders. The odds of involvement in a fight for females who were drunk five or more times in the past 4 weeks were almost five times higher than those who were never drunk (odds ratio for males 1.99). Use of cocaine more than doubled the risk of involvement in violence among males. However, no association was found for females. For heterosexual men, the odds for violence almost doubled compared with bisexual or homosexual men, whereas for women heterosexuality was a protective factor. The effects of structural risk factors (e.g., bar and club characteristics) for nightlife violence differed by gender. To develop effective violence prevention measures in nightlife, considerations need to be made regarding the demographic composition of patrons in addition to wider structural elements within the nighttime environment.