ERIC Number: ED372331
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991
Reference Count: N/A
Facts on Women and Alcohol. Clearinghouse Fact Sheet.
Gomberg, Edith S. Lisansky
Studies show that the percentage of women in the United States who drink, has remained stable over the last several decades. However, patterns in female drinking have changed, indicating a trend toward higher rates of heavy/frequent drinking among young women. Negative attitudes toward female intoxication still prevail and a double standard persists: intoxicated women are perceived as "worse" than intoxicated men. Theories about why women abuse alcohol include genetic endowment, inadequate coping mechanisms, depressed affect, problems in impulse control, traumatic events and losses, and heavy drinking persons in their environment. Alcoholic women are a heterogeneous group and they exhibit some differences from male alcoholics including: (1) women more frequently report a positive family history; (2) the process of becoming an alcoholic is of shorter duration; (3) the woman's mate is more likely to be a heavy/problem drinker than the male alcoholic's mate; (4) marital disruption is more likely; (5) the combination of alcohol and psychoactive medication is more usual; and (6) it is thought women encounter more barriers in seeking help. Financial problems, child care responsibilities, family pressures, and social stigma create some of the barriers women encounter, but once in treatment, it is believed that a woman's prognosis is similar to a man's. (RJM)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Rutgers, The State Univ., Piscataway, NJ. Center of Alcohol Studies.
Note: For a related document, see CG 025 638. The New Jersey Alcohol/Drug Abuse Resource Center and Clearinghouse serves institutions of higher education, state agencies, communities, and school districts throughout the state of New Jersey by providing technical assistance, training, and resources in alcohol and other drug abuse education and prevention. Clearinghouse fact sheets may be reproduced for educational use.