Women Drink ‘Like A Guy,’ South Bay Study Says

Drinking games are a staple of campus life at most colleges, with young people bouncing quarters and flipping cups and guzzling beer after beer — or more potent drink.But a new study by a Loyola Marymount University (Chicago) researcher reveals that such contests, which used to be as drenched in testosterone as alcohol, are actually more popular with young women than young men.

Beer Pong (or Beirut if played with paddles) and other drinking games have become a way for young women to bond with men or scratch a competitive itch, says the study’s author, Loyola psychology professor Joseph LaBrie.

Young women increasingly acknowledge that they’re “drinking like a guy” at parties, said LaBrie, director of LMU’s alcohol awareness program, Heads Up.

But while the rules of the game are identical, the stakes for females are different. Heavy drinking is higher-risk behavior for women, whose physiological differences and smaller bodies mean they absorb alcohol more quickly.

“We’re looking at this trend of women and drinking levels over the past several years,” LaBrie said. “Their rates of binge drinking are now comparable to that of men. … They’re trying to drink to gain the esteem of their male peers. They’re trying to keep up.”

Binge drinking is defined as four drinks in a row for females and five drinks in a row for men.

The study tracked the drinking activities of 105 female students from LMU for three months. Participants filled out questionnaires and sat for one-on-one interviews to discuss their drinking habits and frequency of drinking-game participation.

The study group consisted of 35 males and 70 females averaging 18.8 years of age. Many of the study participants were in their first two years of college, LaBrie said.

The study defined one drink as a 12-ounce beer, a 4-ounce glass of wine or 1.25-ounce shot of hard liquor.

During the 90 days of the study, the female students participated in 915 drinking events with 187 involving drinking games. Male students participated in 469 events with 84 involving games. About 64 percent of women and 57 percent of men participated in at least one drinking game, the study revealed.

While playing the games, women binge-drank 87 percent of the time (averaging 6.29 drinks) and men binge-drank 94 percent of the time (with a 7.95-drink average).

Continue reading the article at DailyBreeze.

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