Men succumb to peer pressure to celebrate one final night of "freedom" with the groom-to-be, despite the fact that the hedonistic experiences can leave them feeling scared and degraded, revealed a new study.
The study, carried out by Daniel Briggs from Madrid University and Anthony Ellis of Salford University, studied a series of stag parties in eastern Europe, on a Spanish island and in a city in the north of England. The researchers found instances of men being pressured into doing things they did not enjoy but nonetheless going along with to keep up with the other men in the group.
‘In stag parties, men are often pressured into doing things they do not enjoy but nonetheless go along with to keep up with the other men in the group.’
They record one groom-to-be who said he had no desire to see "half-naked dancing women, let alone pay them" in a lap-dancing club that his best man insisted they go to. However, he went along with the group and spent a dismal evening "declining offers from various women for private dances, but did not reveal his desire to leave to the best man or the rest of the group".
They also reveal that in the course of one particularly hedonistic weekend in an unidentified European city, one man became separated from the rest of the party and spent a harrowing evening trying to find them. Calling the best man for help in the early hours of the morning, he said, "I'm genuinely fucking scared mate. I do not know what has happened to me in the last few hours."
As the other men recounted their evenings the next morning, it emerged "another member of the group was robbed in the street and had his money stolen, three others fell asleep in a shop doorway and one fell over hitting his head on the floor, which left a deep gash on his face".
According to the research, "extreme shaming, humiliation, and deviance often plays in the stag party experience for all those involved, not just the stag". The authors report how they witnessed one man on a stag weekend with his friends being subjected to sustained ritual humiliation. His drinks were spiked with shots of spirits leaving him so incapacitated that he passed out in the bar, soiled himself and was tied up with cling film in their accommodation while still unconscious.
The study concluded that men on stag dos are "performing" a role rather than taking any real pleasure in their extreme antics. "We argue that these men are merely reproducing exaggerated forms of behavior that are expected of them and that they expect of themselves in a pocket of available time to celebrate," it said.
The report has been published in the journal Deviant Behavior.