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Are Women Now Drinking as Much as Men?

Between the years of 2002 and 2012, the percentage of women drinking and the frequency in which they drink has gone up. The percentage of women drinking the the last 30 days increased from 45 to 48% while the percentage of men drinking decreased from 57 to 56% according to the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

The average number of days that women reported drinking per month went up from 6.8 to 7.3 days. Men decreased again from 9.9 to 9.5 days a month.

The senior director to the NIAAA, Aaron White, commented on this behavior. “Males still consume more alcohol, but the differences between men and women are diminishing.” He also said, “We found that over [the study period], differences in measures such as current drinking, number of drinking days per month, reaching criteria for an alcohol use disorder, and driving under the influence of alcohol all narrowed for females and males.”

This information is particularly concerning as women are at a greater risk for alcohol-related health effects including liver inflammation, heart disease, neurotoxicity, and cancer, the director of NIAAA George Koob said in a statement. However, the rates of alcohol use disorder and driving under the influence did not increase for women; they actually decreased. Men’s reports also decreased from 10.7 to 9%. Unfortunately, within this report, they revealed that binge drinking (drinking five or more drinks per occasion) by 18-25-year-old female non-college students significantly increased while the men’s records significantly decreased. The reports for males and females in college binge drinking were constant.

What do you think about this report? Do you think that women are now drinking as much as men? Have you noticed an increase in your alcohol intake? As we approach the holiday season, take care of yourself and watch over your loved ones so everyone drinks responsibly.

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