MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Location: file:///C:/1E692E4C/menwomenalcohol.htm Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable Content-Type: text/html; charset="us-ascii" Are alcohol problems the same for men and women



Clinical Psychology Associates of North = Central Florida P.A.

Providing Quality Psychological Consultation, Assessment and Psychotherapy to the North Central Florida Community


2121 NW 40th= Terr. Ste B. Gainesville FL 32605         =           =        352-336-2888          =               =            CP= ANCF.COM


Are alcohol problems th= e same for men and women?

Sex differences in alcohol abuse and dependence


                =             &nb= sp;            =             &nb= sp;            =       by Kay Hurlock, Psy.D., Clinical Psychology Associates of North Central Florida, P.A.

·       <= span style=3D'color:navy'>Are there gender differences in rates of alcohol use a= nd abuse?

o&nb= sp;     = Alcohol Dependence and Abuse comprise one of the most common disorders.<= /span>

o&nb= sp;     = Males are generally twice to five times as likely to experience alcohol abuse or dependence.

o&nb= sp;     = Recent research indicates a disturbing trend: Adolescent females 12 to 17 are equa= lly as likely as adolescent males to have met alcohol abuse or dependence criteria.  

o&nb= sp;     = Males account for more treatment admissions for alcohol abuse than do females.=

o&nb= sp;     =  More than 40% of people who initiat= ed drinking before age 15 were diagnosed as alcohol dependent at some point in their lives.

o&nb= sp;     Although in the past women generally start= ed drinking at later ages than men, more recent survey data show a trend that alcohol abuse and dependence rates in women are increasing.

o&nb= sp;     While females who abuse alcohol usually st= art later than males, problems tend to develop more rapidly so that by middle a= ge women often encounter the same problems as men.


·       <= span style=3D'color:navy'>Does alcohol affect women the same as it affects men?<= /span>

o&nb= sp;     Women appear to be more susceptible than m= en to many adverse effects of alcohol use.

o&nb= sp;     Women achieve higher concentrations of alc= ohol in the blood and become more impaired than men after drinking the same amou= nt of alcohol. This is because women absorb and metabolize alcohol differently then men.  Basically, women ha= ve less body water, so they achieve higher concentrations of alcohol in the bl= ood after equivalent amounts of alcohol.

o&nb= sp;     = The different body composition and increased alcohol concentrations make women = more susceptible to earlier health effects of alcohol abuse and dependence.=


·       Are there Special Concerns for Women regarding Alcohol Use, Abuse or Dependence?


o&nb= sp;     Victimization

·       Women with a history of childhood neglect significantly have more alcohol-related symptoms, independent of parental alcohol or other drug (AOD) problems, childhood poverty, race, and age.

·       Physical abuse during adulthood has also b= een associated with women's alcohol use and related problems.

·       A survey of female college students found a significant relationship between the amounts of alcohol the women reported drinking each week and their experiences of sexual victimization.

·       Another study found that female high school students who used alcohol in the past year were more likely, than non-drink= ing students, to be the victims of dating violence (e.g., shoving, kicking, or punching).

·       A history of heavy premarital drinking, by both partners, has been found to predict first-year aggression among newlyw= eds. In some studies, problem drinking by wives has been linked to husband-to-wi= fe aggression regardless of the husbands' drinking levels.

Health Consequen= ces

·       Research suggests that women are more at r= isk than men to medical problems, psychological or physical trauma, legal and interpersonal difficulties.

·       Liver Damage

·       Women will develop alcohol-induced liver disease over a shorter period of time and after consuming less alcohol.

·        Women are more likely than men to develop alcoholic hepatitis and= to die from cirrhosis. 

·       = Women’s higher risk of liver damage may be due to the effects of the female hormone estrogen.

·       Breast Cancer

·        = Severa= l studies report that moderate to heavy alcohol consumption increases the risk for br= east cancer.

·       Motor Vehicle Accidents

·       Although women are less likely than men to drive after drinking and less likely to be involved in fatal alcohol-related crashes, women have a higher relative risk of driver fatality than men at similar blood alcohol concentrations.

·       Women's lower rates of drinking and driving may be attributed to their lower tendency toward risk taking compared with = men.

·       Women are also less likely to view drinking and driving as acceptable behavior.

Referen= ces:         =    

American Psychiatric Association (2000).<= /span> Diagnos= tic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision, Washington, D.C.

NIAAA. Alcohol Alert No. 46: Are Women More Vulnerable to Alcohol’s Effects?. Rockville, MD: the Institute, 1999.=

        =            All rights reserved:  C= linical Psychology Associates of North Central Florida, P.A.   Gainesville, Florida    (352) 336-2888                CPANCF.COM