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Why Are Women Drinking More?

Recently, some stats were released that sent shockwaves through the recovery community. In a span of roughly 10 years, female alcohol consumption has shot up dramatically. In fact, from the period of 2002 to 2012, the percentage of U.S. women who drink more than once a week went from 45 percent to 67 percent. Obviously this begs the question, “why are women drinking more?”  And that’s something that The has aimed to answer.

In a piece published this month, the recovery news site broke down the “social” reasons more women are choosing to indulge in wine and spirits. This includes everything from work happy hours, to online dating, to TV and movie stereotypes. Sadly, it does seem as though there are more societal pressures than ever before.

Quoting writer Ginny Hogan, the site touched upon some unique circumstances surrounding females today.

“The reality is that women often drink for different reasons than men do, and it’s not a stretch to think that those reasons often stem from social pressures that women face but men don’t,” Hogan explained. “When we put social pressure on women to not ever appear stressed or anxious, I worry that we instead make alcohol a more appealing option.”

Hogan also cited the “work hard, play hard” mentality that encompasses corporate America. In order to blend in to the executive boys club, many female vice presidents find themselves at company events surrounded by beer and hard alcohol. Though they might not feel inclined to drink, “fitting in” with senior leaders may push them down that path.

Rising the corporate ladder also incurs quite a bit of anxiety. Similar to men, female business leaders may find themselves “needing” a glass of wine (or two) after work. This has often been mistakenly viewed as a way to relax or unwind, but too much alcohol can do quite the opposite.

Other callouts included the “strong” female characters portrayed in the media. Lead actresses on shows like The Good Wife, Scandal and Killing Eve all regularly consume booze, often with a signature drink like a whiskey sour or brandy tumbler.

Dating was the other big factor pointed to in the article. With more online meet ups occurring at bars and restaurants, it is not uncommon for alcohol to be ordered as part of an introductory evening out. Though these may not turn into binge nights, the more frequent they occur the more frequent the female will be consuming alcohol…which could lead to the start of a very bad habit.