Alcohol consumption

There was a time when alcohol consumption was seen as almost wholly unusual for a woman.

The women who imbibed strong drinks in this time were viewed as immoral and other young women were dissuaded from relating with them.

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Times are changing and although some traditional attitudes towards drinking remain unchanged, young women who live in big cities or townships and earn their own ways are quickly closing the gender gap in alcohol consumption- not exactly the greatest place to win the fight for gender equality.

New research published on Tuesday showed that in Western countries, women have caught up with men in drinking habits. The young women studied were aged 18-27 years and compared with men in their age group who drank, there was almost no difference in the habits.

Alcohol consumption

Three categories of drinking habits where the women were on par with their male counterparts included;

  • The likelihood of consuming alcohol
  • The risk of problem drinking
  • Treatment for abuse

Basically, women were just as likely to consume alcohol as men, become alcoholics, and seek treatment for alcoholism. This is a vastly different picture of attitudes possessed in the mid-20th century where men imbibed more than twice as often, on average, as their female peers, according to the researchers.

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The researchers who published their report in the journal BMJ Open, said that in some areas of drinking, women outstrip men. The evidence for the research comes from a review of 68 studies, mostly from Europe and the North America and the data covered more than four million people and drinking patterns from 1948 to 2014.

Alcohol consumption

The research confirmed that the gradual closing of the gender gap in alcohol consumption was not due to men drinking less, but women catching up. The report also said that worldwide harmful consumption of alcohol rose from being the eighth to the fifth leading cause of death and disability from 1990 to 2010.