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Change in gender roles might be pushing women toward alcohol, says study

Change in gender roles might be pushing women toward alcohol, says study

March 28 | By Rachael

Alcohol has always been linked to men, but lately, it has been gaining popularity among women too. According to the common perception, the prevalence of drinking along with associated adverse effects are limited to men, and women are believed to consume alcohol at a much lower level. But a recent study will help change the outlook. A study, titled “Birth cohort trends in the global epidemiology of alcohol use and alcohol-related harms in men and women: systematic review and metaregression,” suggested an increase in the ratio of drinking habit between male and female.

The findings, published in the medical journal BMJ Open in October 2016, observed 4 million people born between 1891 and 2001 after assessing 68 historical researches on the drinking habit of both men and women. The male-to-female ratios for three broad categories of alcohol use, impulsive alcohol consumption and its related harms were calculated and were then arranged by five birth units, thus, resulting in 1,568 sex ratios.

Women at par with men regarding alcohol consumption

An evaluation of the sex ratios revealed almost similar levels of alcohol use among men and women. It was found that men born between 1991 and 2000 were 1.1 times more likely to drink alcohol compared to their female counterparts. This number was 2.2 for men born between 1891 and 1910. Also, men were only 1.3 times more likely to drink alcohol in a way deemed problematic compared to 3.6 for men born during 1991-2000. The findings were based on various levels like quantities and recurrence of drinking tendencies and problematic attitudes of binge drinking habits.

One of the co-authors of the study Katherine M. Keyes, an associate professor of epidemiology at the Columbia University, said, “There had been several reports of sex convergence regarding alcohol consumption, but nobody had confirmed that, which is why we decided to look over global studies published throughout the years to see if we could prove that there had been a shift.”

The observations that highlighted the closing gap between men and women regarding drinking tendencies could not indicate factors that led to such surprising results. The authors of the study, however, suggested that alteration of traditional gender roles for women could be one possible reason for such a change.

Increasing number of women taking to alcohol is a cause for concern

The closing gender gap that many cynics cite as the foundation of an egalitarian society may not hold true when it comes to drinking habit. This is because more women drinking alcohol suggests an increase in the number of alcohol-related problems like possibility of cancer, cardiovascular disorders, liver diseases and high chance of unprotected sex.

However, what is more concerning is an increase in the number of children being born with disorders like fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) defined as a group of conditions that may affect a person if their mothers consumed alcohol during pregnancy. Excessive drinking during pregnancy can also lead to still childbirth or aggravated possibilities of miscarriage.

Incessant and frequent drinking habits can lead to dependence on alcohol. If you or a loved one is addicted to alcohol and is in need of treatment, contact the Colorado Alcohol Addiction Help for more information. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 866-592-9261 to know more about the best alcohol treatment in Colorado that offers a holistic approach to alcohol addiction treatment in Colorado. You can also chat online with our treatment advisors for assistance in locating the best alcohol addiction treatment clinic in Colorado.

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