Binge Drinking on the Rise for Women

By Emily Murray

While gender equality is present in many regards today, there are still certain things as a society that we equate with one sex or the the other. Binge drinking, for example, has largely been categorized as a “guy thing.” We see movies depicting wild college parties with men chugging beer from a funnel, burping and fist pumping with buddies but according to new research, it may be the women who are dominating the binge drinking scene.

The latest survey from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that a shocking 14 million women partake in binge drinking on average 3 times a month, consuming 6 or more drinks. Their definition of “binge drinking” for men is consuming 5 or more drinks on one occasion and for women the standard is 4 or more drinks.

While many chalk up binge drinking to adolescent inexperience, alcohol poisoning is a very serious issue in the United States, claiming the lives of 23,000 young girls and women each year, according to TIME.

What the report fails to cite is why this increase is taking place. It’s speculated in the same TIME article that perhaps this influx has much to do with the way that alcohol is marketed. The recent boom in “girly” drinks and the advertisements that drive their sales may have some connection to the female domination of binge drinking.

The dangers of this type of activity are plentiful, including unplanned pregnancy, STDs, heart disease and an impaired ability to make reasonable decisions. College campuses are notorious places for sexual assaults and rapes to take place, often involving women who are under the influence. Often the blame is placed wrongfully on the person under the influence and detracts from the act of violence.

Now that the CDC is shedding light on a problem that is continuing to worsen with time, perhaps it’s a reminder to parents, friends and all who enjoy indulging now and again that binge drinking isn’t simply something to make a funny Hollywood movie about, it’s a serious issue that claims the lives of men and women each year.