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Equal pay isn’t the only gender gap that’s closing.

October 25, 2016

Who drinks more—women or men? According to a recent study in BMJ open, more men than women use (and abuse) alcohol, but the gender gap is closing.

Researchers used data from studies on the alcohol consumption 4 million people born between 1891 and 2001. The study showed that while men still drink more than women, the difference is more notable among older generations. Men born between 1911 and 1915 were 2.4 times as likely to use alcohol as women. The current generation, however, has closed that gap; among those born between 1991 and 2000, men were 1.1 times as likely as women to use alcohol.

"Alcohol use and alcohol-use disorders have historically been viewed as a male phenomenon,” note researchers, who also point out that the data was massively skewed towards North America and Europe. Professor Mark Petticrew suggests that one reason for the rise in alcohol consumption (and abuse) by women (and young women in particular) is the rise of alcohol marketing targeted at women. "Health professionals need to help the public - both men and women - to understand the health risks of alcohol consumption, and how to reduce those risks,” he says.