New Study Shows Women Are at Risk for Problem Drinking

According to a new study brought up in Web MD, women are now catching up to men when it comes to drinking alcohol in terms of both consumption and frequency. Those born after WWII are more likely to binge drink or develop an alcohol-related disorder.

The findings come from a review of 31 studies looking at birth years and how gender affects drinking behaviors. Dr. Katherine M. Keyes at Columbia University says that for women binge drinking consists of four or more drinks in a two-hour period. For men, it’s 5 or more. Keyes says alcoholism is on the rise among women and that it is necessary for more prevention and intervention programs.

After WWII, women’s roles changed in our society. Many entered the workforce yet were also expected to be good wives and mothers. Many perhaps turned to alcohol as a way to help them cope with the added pressure.

Stress may also add to the increase of drinking among women. Women often hold jobs that were once male-dominated and are thus competing with men in the work environment. If their male co-workers go out and have a drink on a regular basis, some women might think they also have to.

Doctors say that for women, there is such disgrace around the disease of alcoholism that it is hard for them to connect with issues in recovery. Dr. Richard A. Grucza at Washington University in St. Louis says the gender gap is decreasing and this might be due to the increase of women in the workplace, which gives them financial freedom and may increase their exposure to alcohol. Grucza says the college atmosphere might also foster more binge drinking among coeds.

Doctors feel we need more programs that spotlight the dangers of problem drinking and what is normal and not normal when it comes to alcohol.