Although gender equality is usually a good thing, women who drink as much alcohol as their male counterparts could face dangerous consequences. The stigma against female drinkers has all but vanished, but a new study has shown that changing attitudes toward women and alcohol has led more females to drink dangerously than ever before.

Recent data has shown that throughout the world, women are drinking to the point where they are ingesting nearly as much as men. This trend is especially visible among younger women. For example, men born between 1891 and 1910 were twice as likely to drink as females, but individuals born between 1991 and 2000 are equally likely to drink, regardless of their gender. According to the research, the steepest decrease in the drinking gender gap occurred in people born after 1966, but it has steadily decreased ever since. Not only are more women drinking, but more women are also “dangerously drinking” and harming themselves as a direct result of their drinking behavior, the report explained.

It’s not clear why exactly young women are drinking more than before, but there could be serious consequences to this global behavior shift. According to the National Institutes of Health, women are even more vulnerable to the adverse consequences of alcohol simply because it takes less alcohol for them to become impaired than it does for men. Women absorb alcohol differently than men because their bodies generally have less water. In addition, women seem to eliminate alcohol from their bodies faster than men. Due to this, women drinking near or the same amount as men are more susceptible to alcohol-related organ damage, alcohol-related accidents, and alcohol-fueled violence.

In addition, according to the NIH, women may also be more susceptible to alcohol-induced brain damage and heart disease, and drinking also increases a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer.

Lead study research, Dr. Tim Slade, from the National Drug and Alcohol Research Center at the University of New South Wales, in Australia, told UPI that the closing gender gap in alcohol consumption means that drinking, and the harmful consequences associated with alcohol, can no longer be thought of as a problem that only affects men.

Source: Slade T, Chapman C, Swift W, Keyes K, Tonks Z, Teesson M. Birth cohort trends in the global epidemiology of alcohol use and alcohol-related harms in men and women: systematic review and metaregression. BMJ Open. 2016

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