Pressing matters

What is you take in underage drinking in stories?

  • Meh, Don’t mind it, its fictional after-all
  • Hate it, Don’t want young readers to get the wrong idea.
  • Neutral, it depends on the format.

0 voters

:butterfly: :butterfly:

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for me it’s a delicate matter. if you show a character below the age of 16 drinking for fun i’ll report the story. 16-18 for me it’s an appropriate age to drink. not heavily of course once a month maybe. of course this is just my opinion.

now it also depends where your story takes place. europe. over 16 it’s normal (not legal in all countries but normal) usa it’s not.

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I get it different countries have different legal age of drinking.
So people will different opinions on the matter based on the legal age of their country.

Here in South Africa the legal age is 18+ but I understand that some legal ages are different from my country and always have an open mind while reading.

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same!

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It more depends on the law thing, I don’t mind underage drinking, my problem is all this walk into a bar to get drunk, but no mention of a fake ID don’t they live in the USA, I don’t but I know you got struck rules. And it ruins the realism of the story

It’s especially annoyingly when the MC is like 20 and goes. Drinking, why not just make her 21, it’s not the plot that she faked an ID and such so why?

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Yeah, when they re allowed to drinking without the bartender or anyone selling them drinks bringing up the age makes it feel like its allowed for them to do so

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Where I live the legal age to get a drink in public is 18. I live in the UK and I think everyone in the UK knows someone who started drinking by the age of 12. I have people in my class who are 14 saying that they have to appear as if they are not drunk to their parents. So it is normalised here basically. I myself don’t drink and will not will I when I am of age. I just personally don’t like the idea of putting something into my body that it doesn’t need. Also you can drink from the age of 5 as long as you are at home and don’t bring them into the hospital for some reason drunk. My brother who is 17 had a drink for what I know was one of the first times when he was 16 and his friends have offered him beer a lot. So maybe authors shouldn’t have them doing it all the time but I always think of it like this, we can’t hide alcohol from young teens. They know it exists. :woman_shrugging:

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Im fine with underaged drinking as minors do drink- Heck Ive shared my dads beer and my mums wine a few times… but if you do write a minor drinking, just be sure that you also include some example of the problems it can cause…e.g. loss of brain cells, anger issues, addiction and make it clear that it is something the character shouldnt be doing, even having a parental figure being like “oh honey” or something to show how underaged drinking makes the people around you feel is fine.

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I understand, but still we don’t have to make it look like it is okay to do so.

Yeah , can also show them getting arrested.

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I know but if you turn on the TV a soap will have them meeting in their local pub but if authors maybe say they don’t condone this and show affects. But drinking culture is too strong for underage people to stop. They already have the influence, people in my school have probably never read episode. But it is all around then and some people do it to socialise or as an escape.

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Yes.

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of course not but we should also keep in mind that underage drinking it’s realistic. it is wrong I agree. i personally started drinking alcohol at the age of 16. not in an alcoholic level. and always when I would have a sleepover with my friends. i started going out in pubs to drink at 17. so that’s why I think it’s an ok age to start drinking. but that also depends the state of someone’s life they are at that age as well. it doesn’t justify it but it’s something to have in mind.

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Understandable
Drinking will not have the same effect on people underage or not
Even adults get messed up more that teenagers while drinking.

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A difficult question, especially as there is no point in deluding ourselves - hardly anyone is holy. Sure, people follow the rules, but there are also people who constantly break them. For me it is “normal” to know that someone is consuming alcohol before the age of 18 or 21 (depends on the law and country). Is it good? Well, we could argue over each person’s point of view, but let’s see that the Episode is also read by people under the age of 18 - sometimes they are 13, 14 or 15 years old. And in my opinion, if a character is shown to do whatever it takes to get alcohol or get into clubs without being aware that it is wrong and illegal, it becomes a problem.
(Like FakeID, sneak into club or whatever.)

However, if we take into consideration that the plot in which the use of alcohol (or all kind of drugs) by a minor is “justified” to some extent - and I mean: a problematic approach to the subject, and not “because she/he wants to”, then I am able to understand it. It all depends on what the author wants to tell, whether, for example: he/she will explain to his readers that such behavior is not good or can lead to consequences. It is good to raise awareness about underage drinking. We don’t have to “live”" in colorful fairy tales, when the real world awaits us outside the window.

I hope this all make sense :thinking:

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It makes a lot of sense.
Thank you

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:warning: Long post ahead.

I think it depends a lot on the character’s culture and where the story is set (even though that’s just part of it). You can’t talk about this issue in a ‘general’ way, because often the word ‘general’ actually stands for ‘american-centric’ and it just doesn’t apply to the rest of the world.

It doesn’t, not only because each country has different laws to apply to minors consuming alcohol, but also because despite what the laws say, cultures sometimes follow their own set of ‘norms’. And even aside from that, social issues that are pressing in some countries are not really an issue in others.

In the US, the legal age to only even taste alcohol is 21. But the US also has a long history of issues with alcohol in the first place. There are still some states where the consumption of alcohol is regulated more than others. All this contributed to making alcohol as close to a taboo in the US as ever. Seeing a minor drink alcohol is demonized, whilst in other countries it’s viewed as normal.

Take Italy for example, my country.

brief talk on legality

Italy has one of the biggest, most successful, and finest wine productions in the world. You get it, wine is everywhere here, and everyone gets to have a sip no matter how old or young. The legal age to sell alcohol to is 18, whilst the legal age to serve alcohol to is 16.

Do you see the difference?

In Italy, the person who’s legally responsible in case of minors+alcohol is not the minor. It’s the adult (18+ years of age) who either sells alcohol or serves it. In theory, in Italy you’re allowed to be served alcohol starting at 16, and you’re allowed to purchase alcohol starting at 18. But you––minor––will never go to prison or have to pay if you’re found ‘breaking the law’. Also because there’s no age limit for you to decide to serve alcohol to yourself!

Is it morally okay though? Medically fine? No, of course it isn’t, and your parents should know better than to teach you you can drink alcohol whenever and however you want. Also because if anything happens to you after consuming alcohol, and you’re a minor, your parents or any adult responsible for you can go to jail for lack of proper supervision. But as for you, you’re just sent to the hospital to recover :sweat_smile:

Sounds counterintuitive? It’s because in Italy minors aren’t called like that for no reason. According to the Italian law a minor mostly doesn’t have the legal capacity to take legal actions or decisions for themselves or for others. Their parents or guardians are legally responsible for them. And that includes alcohol.

But like I said, it’s also due to local cultures. Laws have to be compatible with the countries cultures, otherwise people would riot :'D

brief cultural talk

In Italy, sipping alcohol as a child is culturally accepted. In fact, when I was as young as 5 I would sometimes drink little ‘shots’ of prosecco (an Italian white wine similar to champagne). My brother around the same age would drink red wine diluted with lots of water. And we were and are both perfectly fine :woman_shrugging:t3:

I believe the same happens in other countries such as France, so really giving a child a little alcohol to taste once in a while literally does nothing.

The problem imo is if consuming alcohol is done compulsively and heavily. Normal teens in Italy don’t go as far as to get fake IDs to purchase alcohol. Why would they if it’s widely available in any household anyway. And normal teens don’t go to clubs or pubs to purchase their alcohol, because they know they wouldn’t be allowed to. Simple. If you do some research on the topic, you’d find that if something is widely available to anyone, people wouldn’t go crazy with its consumption knowing they can get it at any given time. You’d be surprised at the amount of teens who get drunk in Italy vs in the US.

However, I also believe the problem isn’t just legal or cultural, rather moral. If it’s okay for a teen to drink some relatively light alcohol drinks once in a while (wine, beer, etc.), and it’s wrong for them to turn to hard liquors or to alcohol in general too frequently and too heavily, then why is it be okay for adults to?

Too much and heavy alcohol is toxic for both minors and adults. So really, what are we exactly talking about here? Why is it an issue only for teenagers to have drinks?

So in short.

If your point is them using fake IDs, and lying about their age, etc., that’s them breaking the law. Making or commissioning/purchasing a fake ID alone is enough to get you arrested. Drinking alcohol is too if you’re a minor in some countries, but legally totally okay in others. In certain cultures allowing little alcohol to people as young as children is fine too, as long as it isn’t too much. Also, it doesn’t seem to cause any health-related problems to the minor either. The issue is if it’s too much. But too much is too much for minors as well as it is for adults.

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Understandable, alcohol is bad for both adults and minors.

Moved to Episode Fan Community since Community is for discussion of specific stories. Make sure to check out our Forum Tutorial for more info about creating topics, and feel free to PM me if you’ve got questions. :smiley:

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Really depends on how young the underage drinkers are. I’m from Denmark where there’s no legal drinking age, although you have to be 16 to buy low percentage alcohol (anything under 16,5%, like beers, ciders and most wine) and 18 to buy more ‘hardcore’ alcohol like vodka or tequila. However, I was about 15 when I started to drink beers and ciders and 16 when I started drinking shots (with an alcohol percentage of 16,4% which you’re allowed to buy when you turn 16). Looking back now (I’m 22), I think I was really young and wouldn’t recommend teenagers drinking at that age unless it’s a few beers or so.

So basically, I think, even if it’s fictional, that underage drinking shouldn’t happen in stories. I’m afraid it does affect the readers, possibly making teenage readers think it’s acceptable to drink at age 16.

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