For much of history and for a good part of alcohol-related research in the last century there has been practically a non-existent focus on how alcohol impacts women. Not only non-existent, but often explicitly excluding women from research, under a variety of bullshit excuses.
That started to change in the 1970's when it was "discovered" that alcohol generated different moods in men and women. Men reported feeling increasingly aggressive and powerful as they drank, while women said they felt calmer, less inhibited, and more easy going. But this was just the tip of the iceberg. Subsequent studies have shown the following: that women are twice as susceptible to drinking-causing triggers such as clinical Anxiety and Depression; are twice as likely as men to “deal with” them by using alcohol; and are twice as likely to die from alcoholism than men.
Why? To start with, alcohol impacts females much more different physically than it does to men. Unfortunately much worse.
Women are affected by alcohol more rapidly because they tend to have a higher proportion of body fat than men. As fat cannot absorb alcohol, it is concentrated at higher levels in the blood. Women also have less of a gastric or stomach enzyme (dehydrogenase) that metabolizes or breaks down alcohol before it enters the bloodstream. Because of this, women absorb up to nearly 30% more alcohol into their bloodstream than men of the same height and weight who drink the same amount of alcohol. Women are also usually shorter and lighter than men, further concentrating alcohol in their blood. Therefore, when women of average size consume one drink, it will have almost the same effect as two drinks do for the average-size man. If women eat little or skip food entirely, that compounds the effects of drinking alcohol.
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Another 2-to-1 multiple! And the increased chances for hell just keep coming; women who abuse or are dependent on alcohol are more vulnerable than men to have or contract:
To put this in perspective: A woman’s overall lifetime risk of breast cancer is almost 9 in 100 if she drinks no alcohol. Two drinks per day increases the risk to just over 10 in 100, while six drinks a day ups her risk to about 13 in 100.
Compared with women who don't drink or drink in moderation, women who drink heavily also have an increased risk of:
As you progress through the rest of this book and develop your new defenses against alcohol, it will be very beneficial to keep these increased risks in mind.
I'm sorry, but alcohol is much worse for you than it is for males. Physically, mentally, emotionally - the potential for damage is distinctly different for you, and in certain areas doubled. Among other things, you are twice as likely to die if you are abuse alcohol as a woman vs. male alcoholics.
We explore the latest research in this area, and draw on ground-breaking books and articles that deal specifically with alcohol-related issues and their relation to gender. Read More Below.
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