Congrats fellow women! We have all but closed the gender drinking gap.1 It looks like all those wine nights watching "The Bachelor" were contributing to the greater good. It's true that this isn’t quite on a par with an achievement like gaining the right to vote, but it is a sign of the times.
It’s crazy to think sexism has even pervaded something like alcohol consumption. According to a review by BMJ, males born in the 1900s were 2.2 times more likely than females to consume alcohol.1 Looking at those born in the late 1900s, that number dropped to 1.1.1
The BMJ Open's report speculates that the decline has something to do with the development of female gender roles. In other words, society isn’t necessarily telling women they shouldn’t drink — for the most part. Still, the report does not indicate exact reasons for the change.
Instead, the report was a review of 68 studies to examine changing alcohol patterns among men and women in an attempt to examine this trend.
BMJ found that men born in later years had significant decreases in alcohol-related problem as compared to females. This tells us that the gap between men and women narrowed.
Men born in later years were found to only be 1.2 times as likely, compared to 3 times more likely, to drink in potentially problematic ways than females.
Men born in later years were only 1.3 times as likely, compared to 3.6 times more likely, to experience alcohol-related harms than females.1 This suggests that women are abusing alcohol more frequently.1
It is important to acknowledge that substance abuse occurs across all genders in order to destigmatize addiction and find better treatment for everyone. So next time you have a drink, do it responsibly and — cheers to progress for women. Every step counts!
Edited by Jody Smith
Birth cohort trends in the global epidemiology of alcohol use and alcohol-related harms in men and women: systematic review and metaregression. BMJ Open. Retrieved October 25, 2016.