Women are drinking more like men, a new study reports. In other words, drinking more often and consuming more alcohol when they do. But guys, before you snicker at the fact that your lady is taking hard to the bottle, understand this: The study also shows that guys are drinking more like women.
Writes Newser on Nov. 24: “It’s well-known that men drink more than women—but a new analysis by a National Institutes of Health (NIH) group finds that the gap between the way the two genders consume alcohol in the US is narrowing, according to an NIH press release.”
According to the study, published in the US National Library of Medicine, females in the United States “consume less alcohol and cause and experience fewer alcohol-related harms than males. However, recent research suggests such gaps might be narrowing.”
A press release from the NIH says the “longstanding differences between men and women in alcohol consumption and alcohol-related harms might be narrowing in the United States.”
Researchers followed the drinking habits in males and females in a ten-year period between 2002 and 2012. The amount of females who said they have drank within the last 30 days rose from from 44.9 percent to 48.3 percent, but fell for males (though not much) – from 57.4 percent to 56.1 percent. Over that same time, the average number of days females drank each month rose from 6.8 to 7.3 days, but decreased for males from 9.9 to 9.5 days.
“This study confirms what other recent reports have suggested about changing patterns of alcohol use by men and women in the U.S.,” notes National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) Director George F. Koob, Ph.D.
Lead author Aaron White, Ph.D., NIAAA’s senior scientific advisor to the director, said: “We found that over that period of time, 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 in the past year, all narrowed for females and males. Males still consume more alcohol, but the differences between men and women are diminishing.”
Adds NBC15.com: “The same number of college kids admitted to binge drinking. But more women and fewer men said they down five or more drinks in a row, the researchers found. Heavy drinking takes a big toll and women may not want to catch up to men in this particular area, the researchers noted.”
There still is one area where guys outdo the gals – drinking concurrently with smoking pot.
“The prevalence of combining alcohol with marijuana during the last drinking occasion among 18 to 25 year old male drinkers increased from 15 percent to 19 percent, while the prevalence of combining alcohol with marijuana during the last drinking occasion among 18 to 25 year old female drinkers remained steady at about 10 percent,” White said.