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Alcohol Consumption – Men and Women are Different

Posted by Steve Markowitz on June 30, 2013

couple cocktailsAuthor Gabrielle Glaser was recently interviewed by the Wall Street Journal’s Gary Rosen concerning the growing problem of alcohol abuse amongst women.  The article titled Why She Drinks: Women and Alcohol Abuse indicates that alcohol abuse is increasing amongst women significantly faster than men, stating the following:

  • “Women buy the lion’s share of the nearly 800 million gallons of wine sold in the U.S. annually—and they are its primary drinkers.” 
  • “Between 1998 and 2007, the number of women arrested for drunken driving rose 30%, while male arrests dropped more than 7%. 
  • “Between 1999 and 2008, the number of young women who showed up in emergency rooms for being dangerously intoxicated rose by 52%.  The rate for young men, though higher, rose just 9%.”

The above statistics indicate that alcohol abuse is a growing problem for women and at a disproportional rate than that of the abuse by men.  In addition to the problems this causes society, Glaser points out that the effects of alcohol overindulgence is disproportionately more dangerous for women stating:

  • “Women are more vulnerable than men to alcohol’s toxic effects.  Their bodies have more fat, which retains alcohol, and less water, which dilutes it, so women drinking the same amount as men their size and weight become intoxicated more quickly.” 
  • “Males also have more of the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase, which breaks down alcohol before it enters the bloodstream.  This may be one reason why alcohol-related liver and brain damage appear more quickly in heavy-drinking women than men.” 
  • “Studies show that after drinking, men report feeling more powerful, often overstating their capabilities and accomplishments, while women say that it makes them feel more affectionate, sexy and feminine.”

The sexist realities of alcohol raise interesting issues for a society that increasingly looks to government to regulate bad behavior.  For instance, should the level of blood-alcohol used to determine one’s ability to drive the vehicle be different for men and women?  Should warnings be placed on alcoholic beverages that its use is more dangerous for women than men?  Should the government start an advertising campaign discussing the special problems alcohol causes women?

The libertarian bent of this Blog would answer “no” to each of these questions.  However, given the slippery slope of the big brother government that we are traveling, this is a likely outcome. This possibility should serve as a warning for activist women of the Left.

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