Alarming repercussions of alcohol abuse by women | Sunday Observer

Alarming repercussions of alcohol abuse by women

28 May, 2023

It has been noticed that drinking has substantially been a gendered form of consumption while the same for some people may also be a token of pleasure and leisure as well.

In this context, women’s drinking has predominantly been taboo and is not widely talked about within the private domain of the domestic environment (Plant, 1997).

As per the egalitarian perspective, the public consumption of alcohol has long been a significant element of the ascendancy of men over the use of public space and places of leisure. It is also found that during the entire period of the 19th century as well as the early years of the 20th century, the British pub had been regarded as an institution, dominated by the males; a woman’s entry into the pub was considered as a bluff to the purity and righteousness of this particular institution (Hey, 1986).

In the sense of ergo, it is asserted that women, entering this specific male space have either been “unsexed” or “Oversexed” which is also defined as hoydenish and tomboyish, sexually available, or sexually endangered (Day, Gough & Mcfadden, 2004; Langham, 2003).

In this context, women’s drinking is conventionally distinguished as unethical, nefarious, butch, unworthy, analogous, and associated with unrestrained sexual appetites (Plant, 1997).

However, the increase in drinking by British women may interpret that such defamatory and critical rhetoric is no longer rife and prevalent. In contemporary Britain, prominent social changes are apparently appearing and occurring; the gendered nature of drinking where a significant rise up in the women’s weekly alcohol consumption during the 1990s is visible.


Compared with other countries in Europe, women’s drinking ratio to that of the same of their male counterparts stands at a relatively small number where men in Britain drink around 40 percent more periodically than that of women. However, this calculation contradicts with the countries such as Spain, Switzerland, Austria, and the Czech Republic where men’s drinking stands not less than 200 percent more habitually than that of women (Makela et al., 2006).

As per Plant and Plant (2006), currently in Britain, there remains a considerable social tolerability over drinking, notably among young women.

According to the analysis of representations of alcohol consumption in magazines, declared by Lyons, Dalton, and Hoy (2006), it is noticed that women’s magazines are keen on flushing and aligning alcoholic drinks with muliebrity and docility, but young women’s drinking with manly, virility, vigour, masterfulness, and the public sphere, by that fortifying recent deviations in gender relations.

Research indicates that the use of alcohol and that of its misuse among young women is escalating. Alcohol misuse beyond doubt brings out serious health hazards. Most importantly, it is found that compared with the men’s drinking, drinking of women is associated with a relatively higher risk of having alcohol related issues.

Therefore, it is advisable for women to be aware and concerned with such alcohol related issues for which they may be vulnerable while being addicted to drinking. Meanwhile, 2020- 2025 ‘Dietary Guidelines for Americans’ make informed decisions with regard to the use of alcohol.

Women, particularly adult women whose age is within the category of legal drinking age are possible to decide whether not to drink or to restrict their intake only for a single drink or a less amount of drinks, taken on daily basis.

However, this particular amount of drink, decided is not deemed to be the average but basically considered as a limitation, practised on a daily basis. The drastic repercussions, correlated with alcohol consumption can be mitigated, but yet cannot be wiped out overnight by merely restricting intake.

It is also noted that women who are pregnant or those who intend to get pregnant should completely avoid consuming alcohol. Although it is declared that men are more vulnerable to take alcohol with considerably larger amounts, the kind of biological differences in the body structure and chemistry pave the way for a large number of women to absorb a relatively higher quantity of alcohol and take longer to metabolize it.

Despite the same amount of alcohol taken by men and women, the latter tend to carry higher blood alcohol levels, compared with their male counterparts. It is also reported that the instantaneous effects of the use of alcohol normally transpire more speedily and remain for a long time in women than that of their male counterparts.

These specific differences have the potential of making women more prone and receptive for prolonged negative health consequences of alcohol, compared with men. The scientific community remarks that due to a wave of reasons, women’s alcohol related issues may come sooner than that of their male counterparts.

Except for some specific cases, women generally weigh less than men. It is found that alcohol occupies largely in body water, and pound for pound, women usually carry less water in their bodies than that of men.

Women more vulnerable

This indicates that a man and a woman weighing the same, consume the same amount of alcohol, the blood alcohol concentration of the woman tends to be relatively higher than the man and it makes the woman more susceptible to higher danger and risk.

Research also suggests that compared to men, women are more likely to experience hangovers and alcohol-induced blackouts taking the same amount of alcohol as men.

Evidence suggests that issues confronted by depression and anxiety are widespread among young people, particularly young women. Young women and girls are noticed being relatively impressionable to manifesting depression, stress, anxiety, and many other issues, affecting mental health. It is frightening to notice that such a situation may make them presumably to rely on drinking as a way to grapple and wrestle.

Research also notes that girls with a high level of anxiety are more likely to end up with alcohol, compared with the boys of the same level of anxiety. At this critical juncture, girls and young women need to get assistance to manage and survive in harsh emotions not in risky and unacceptable ways but in ways where good health is maintained in which they can reduce the level of their alcohol consumption or take a serious attempt to entirely abandon drinking altogether.

Due to the close association between underage drinking as well as mental health such as anxiety and depression, girls and the young women who face these challenges should receive comprehensive underage drinking prevention assistance, and general mental assistance as well.