What’s driving more women to drink?

White women and women with more education and financial means have much higher rates of alcohol consumption.


Overall, 52 percent of women reported drinking around seven days in the last month and averaged just over two drinks a day. Now, scientists at Iowa State University are working on to comprehend why more women are drinking alcohol.

Not exclusively is the gap contracting among people who drink, however, scientists discovered variations in the amount and frequency women drink dependent on age, race, education, marital status, and different variables.

Susan Stewart, professor of sociology, says the examination thought about the experiences of women in their 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s to perceive how life changes and events impact drinking.

For the study, scientists analyzed data from The National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979. The survey follows thousands of people starting as teens and into adulthood.

While women still drink less than men, as indicated by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, there is little proof to clarify their expansion in consumption. Stress, social acceptance of alcohol and life changes are often cited to as potential elements, however, Stewart says this is largely anecdotal. By contrasting liquor utilization crosswise over social classifications, the scientists need to give a more prominent comprehension of why ladies drink just as dispel some myths.

Stewart said, “Some of our findings really break down stereotypes, such as alcohol use is highest among poor women and underrepresented women. We found that not to be true. White women and women with more education and financial means have much higher rates of alcohol consumption.”

Drank in the last 30 days55%33%46%
Number of days6.96.64.3
Number of drinks2.22.12.2

The preliminary findings reveal significant differences in drinking by race and ethnicity. The following table provides a comparison among white, black and Hispanic women. Scientists also noted differences based on social and demographic characteristics:

  • Married black women drank less than single or cohabiting women, but this was not true for white and Hispanic women.
  • College-educated women across all groups were more likely to drink and drank more days per month.
  • White and black women living in urban areas drank more than those in rural areas, but this did not influence drinking among Hispanic women.

To develop these initial discoveries, Jones-Johnson is taking a gander at empty nesters. Fundamental outcomes show noteworthy moves in alcohol use when the last kid leaves home. For instance, 26 percent of women who were moderate drinkers while their children were home turned out to be overwhelming consumers became heavy drinkers after they left.

Jones-Johnson said, “This could be due to ‘empty nest syndrome’ – loss of mothering role, depression, isolation – or it could be newfound freedom from family and childrearing responsibilities. To draw definitive conclusions we will compare these women’s alcohol consumption to the alcohol consumption of women not experiencing the empty nest.”

The researchers’ preliminary findings, presented at the American Sociological Association’s Annual Meeting on Aug. 10.

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