Sitting around with the family watching football is a favored Thanksgiving tradition. But new research reveals that football spectating is not always pleasant: losses have a statistical link to a rise in domestic violence. The study, which matched 12 years worth of team records with local domestic violence rates, suggests that a painful loss can trigger moments of anger in fans, causing them to lash out. Here are some of the findings:
- When a team favored to win loses, there is an eight percent increase in intimate partner violence in the hometown state (the study only looked at states with one team).
- The increase in violence comes in the hours immediately following the loss.
- When the loss is against a traditional rival, the spike in violence doubles.
- The rate spike also doubles following losses in games with a lot of turnovers and penalties.
But don't call for a ban on football quite yet — the experts reasonably point out that emotional games might just set off violence that would otherwise happen later. So while this information enlightens us about occasions that put women at higher risk of suffering domestic violence, it doesn't exactly tell us more about how to address the root causes. What do you make of it?