See also: VeryWell.com
See also: Children of Alcoholics
See also: Pregnancy
See also: Teens and Alcohol
See also: Women BAC chart
See also: Your Health

Abbey, Antonia; Zawacki, Tina; Buck, Philip O.; Clinton, Monique; McAusian, Pam; "Alcohol and sexual assault," ALCOHOL, HEALTH AND RESEARCH WORLD, 25 (1). Conservative estimates of sexual assault prevalence suggest that 25 percent of American women have experiences sexual assault., including rape. Approximately one-half of those cases involve alcohol consumption by the perpetrator, victim or both. Alcohol contributes to sexual assault through multiple pathways, often exacerbating existing risk factors. Believes about alcohol's effects on sexual aggressive behavior, stereotypes about drinking women, and alcohol's effects on cognitive and motor skills contribute to alcohol-involved sexual assault. Despite advances in researchers' understanding of the relationships between alcohol consumption and sexual assault, many questions still need to be addressed in future studies.

Abbey, Antonia; Buck, Philip O.; Zawacki, Tina; Saenz, Christopher; "Alcohol's effect on perceptions of a potential date rape," JOURNAL OF STUDIES ON ALCOHOL (2003), 64: 669-677. One in 20 (4.7 percent) of women reported being raped in college since the beginning of the school year--a period of approximately 7 months - and nearly three-quarters of those rapes (72 percent) happened when the victims were so intoxicated they were unable to consent or refuse. Most significantly, women from colleges with medium and high binge-drinking rates had more than a 1.5 fold increased change of being raped while intoxicated than those from schools with low binge drinking rates. Other significant risk factors for being raped were being under 21 years old, white, residing in sorority houses, using illicit drugs and binge drinking in high school. Heavy episodic drinking (or binge drinking) is the number one public health problem among college students - associated with a range of consequences that include lower grades, vandalism and physical and sexual violence. Previous research shows that more women get raped while under the influence of alcohol than under the influence of any other so-called 'date rape" drug, such as GBH and Rohypnol. " Binge drinking isn't a harmless rite of passage but a risk factor in violence against women" said George W. Dowdall, Ph.D. and coauthor of the study.

Abbey, Antonia; Saenz, Christopher; Buck, Philip O.; Parkhill, Michele R.; Hayman, Lenwood W., Jr.; "The effects of acute alcohol consumption, cognitive reserve, partner risk, and gender on sexual decision making," JOURNAL OF STUDIES ON ALCOHOL (2006), 67: 113-121. Participants with less cognitive reserve made riskier decisions when intoxicated. Unexpectedly, although participants clearly perceived the high- and low-risk partners differently, this did not affect their willingness to have unprotected sex with this hypothetical partner. These findings demonstrate the need for sexually transmitted disease/HIV prevention programs that go beyond factual presentations and provide students with the skills they need to assess risk realistically and the need for programs with messages tailored for individuals with log cognitive skills.

"Adolescent treatment admissions by gender: 2008", The DASIS Report (May 24, 2007), 7p. Girls ages 12-17 are more likely to start substance abuse treatment at an earlier age, more likely to have a co-occurring disorder and more likely to report alcohol or inhalants as their primary substance of abuse, than boys of the same age. A study of 2005 substance abuse treatment admissions reveals that girls make up less than one-third of total admissions for the age group. The report showed 142,600 admissions for substance abuse treatment in the 12-17 age group--44,600 girls and 98,000 boys.
Co-occurring disorders: The report revealed:
--23 percent of girls had co-occurring disorders, compared with 18 percent of boys
--Marijuana was the primary drug of abuse for 72 percent of boys, but only 51 percent of girls
--Cocaine, opiates and other drugs accounted for 14 percent of admissions for girls and 8 percent for boys
--Girls were more likely than boys to enter treatment before age 16 for alcohol (44 percent vs. 30 percent of males) and for marijuana (47 percent vs 39 percent)
--Boys were more likely to enter treatment via the criminal justice system--55 percent compared with 39 for girls
--Treatment admissions referred by an individual person, such as a family member, were more common for girls (21 percent) than boys (16 percent)

"Alcohol and breast cancer", About.com May 13, 2003. "According to the American Medical Association "alcohol consumption is associated with a linear increase in breast cancer incidence in women over the range of consumption reported by most women. Among women who consume alcohol regularly, reducing alcohol consumption is a potential means to reduce breast cancer risk." The U. S. Department of Health and Human Services in its "Report on Carcinogens" 9th edition said that the effect of a given level of alcoholic beverage intake on cancer is influenced by other factors, especially smoking, but that smoking does not explain the increased cancer hazard associated with alcoholic beverage consumption. Breast cancer strikes approximately 1 in 9 women during their lifetime.

"Alcohol an important women's health issue", ALCOHOL ALERT 62 (July 2004)
This Alcohol Alert reviews some common disorders associated with alcohol-related brain damage and the people at greatest risk for impairment. It looks at traditional as well as emerging therapies for the treatment and prevention of alcohol-related disorders and includes a brief look at the high-tech tools that are helping scientists to better understand the effects of alcohol on the brain.

While it's true that men are more likely to drink alcohol and more likely to drink greater amounts, women have a higher risk of developing problems from alcohol consumption. When a woman drinks, the alcohol in her bloodstream typically reaches a higher level than a man's even if both are drinking the same amount. This is because women's bodies generally have less water than men's bodies. Because alcohol mixes with body water, a given amount of alcohol is less diluted in a woman's body than in a man's. Women become more impaired by alcohol's effects and are more susceptible to alcohol&endash;related organ damage. That is, women develop damage at lower levels of consumption over a shorter period of time

Considering that about one third of American women report regular alcohol consumption (1) and 2.3 percent, or 2.5 million women, meet the criteria for alcohol dependence (2), it is clear that research to better understand the effects of alcohol in women is critical. This issue of Alcohol Alert summarizes some of the most practical implications for women across the life span to come from that research.

Alati, Rosa; Lawlor, Debbie A.; Najman, Jake M.; Williams, Gail M.; Bor, William; O'Callaghan, Michael; "Is there really a "J-shaped" curve in the association between alcohol consumption and symptoms of depression and anxiety? Findings from the Mater-University Study of Pregnancy and its outcomes", ADDICTION (2005), 100: 643-651. Less drinking equals less depression. Dr. Rosa Alti work showed that women who have more than 15 drinks a week have an increased risk of experiencing mental illness. In all three assessments, conducted when women ere aged in their 20s, 30s and 40s, showed those who drank six or more drinks per week were more likely to have symptoms of depression and anxiety than those drinking less. For women in their 20s and 40s the lowest rates of symptoms were of those who did not drink any alcohol, said Alti. The results also point to a varying relationship between alcohol and depression and anxiety over the course of a woman's life.

"Are women more vulnerable to alcohol's effects?" ALCOHOL ALERT 46 (December 1999). Women appear to be more vulnerable than men to many adverse consequences of alcohol use. Women achieve higher concentrations of alcohol in the blood and become more impaired than men after drinking equivalent amounts of alcohol. Research also suggests that women are more susceptible than men to alcohol-related organ damage and to trauma resulting from traffic crashes and interpersonal violence.

Arndt. J. T.; Rohsenow, D. J.; Almeida, A. B.; Hunt, S. K.; Gokhale, M.; Gottlieb, D. J.; Howland, J.; "Sleep following alcohol intoxication in healthy young, adults: effects of sex and family history of alcoholism", ALCOHOLISM: CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH, (2011), 35 (5): 870-8. This study evaluated sex and family history of alcoholism as moderators of subjective ratings of sleepiness/sleep quality and polysomnography (PSG) following alcohol intoxication in healthy, young women. 93 healthy adults were studied (Mean age age was 24.4 +/- 2.7 years, 59 women, 29 subjects with a positive family history of alcoholism. Conclusions: Alcohol intoxication increases subjective sleepiness and disrupts sleep objectively more in healthy women than in men, with no differences evident by family history of alcoholism status. Evaluating moderators of alcohol effects on sleep may provide insight into the role of sleep in problem drinking.

Avant, L. L. "Alcohol impairs visual presence/absence detection more for females than for males," PERCEPTION AND PSYCHO PHYSICS (1990), 48 (3): 285-290. (90 male and female subjects, Breath alcohol, fasted given 3 levels of alcohol 0.0%, 0.5%, or 1.0%. Alcohol produced higher blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels, and higher detection threshold duration's, for females than for males. These results indicate that alcohol influences pre cortical visual processing and that the influence is greater for females than for males. The higher bioavailability of alcohol in women is likely due to less gastric oxidation of ethanol in women than in men.)

Austin and Hitchcock in their book, "Breast Cancer -- What You Should Know (But May Not Be Told) About Prevention, Diagnosis, and Treatment," Prima 1994, point out that alcohol suppresses the immune system. Finally, a more compelling reason for the link, the authors cite, is that estrogen levels increase when women drink alcohol and "most breast cancer risk factors also tie to estrogen levels. The alcohol-induced increase in estrogen is therefore most likely to be the primary problem."

Baer, John S.; Sampson, Paul D.; Barr, Helen M.; Connor, Paul D.; Streissguth, Anne P.; "A 21-year analysis of prenatal alcohol exposure on young adult drinking", ARCHIVES OF GENERAL PSYCHIATRY (2003), 60: 377-385. Results: Univariate, partial least squares, and regression analyses indicate that prenatal alcohol exposure is significantly associated with alcohol problems at 21 years of age. The relationship persists independent of the effects of family history of alcohol problems, nicotine exposure, other prenatal exposures, and postnatal environmental factors including parental use of other drugs. Prenatal nicotine exposure was not associated with alcohol problems by offspring at 21 years of age. Conclusions: Prenatal alcohol exposure is a risk factor for the development of drinking problems in humans. Potential mechanisms for the role of fetal exposure and the development of alcohol problems deserve study. Those with persistent alcohol problems in mid-life typically began drinking in adolescence and young adulthood. Future follow-up is needed with samples from older ages.

Barrett, Devlin, "Girls form addictions faster, study suggests" The Arizona Republic, February 6, 2003 "Study: Girls form addictions faster," National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, Columbia University. "Young girls and women are more easily addicted to drugs and alcohol, have different reasons than boys for abusing substances and may need single-sex treatment programs to beat their addictions. "They get hooked faster; they get hooked using lesser amounts of alcohol and drug and cocaine, and they suffer the consequences faster and more severely," said Joseph A. Califano, Jr.

Bouchez, Colette, "Drinking during pregnancy tied to child's later alcohol problems", HealthDayNews Reporter, April 14, 2003. (from ARCHIVES OF GENERAL PSYCHIATRY) A 22-year study was conduced at the University of Washington. The study involved 433 familles in which the mothers were first interviewed concerning drinking habits just before, and during their pregnancy. Of the group, 80 percent said they drank alcohol both before and during pregnancy, while 31 percent reported heavy episodic drinking (five drinks or more, on occasion). The women also answered questions about other lifestyle habits, including smoking, as well as providing information on family history of alcoholism.

Twenty-two years later, the same 433 familles were interviewed again and the children were interviewed abut their behavior. By the time they were 21 years-old, 83 percent of the children reported they were already drinkers, with 8 percent exhibiting at leas mild symptoms of alcohol dependence.

Brecklin, Leanne R.; Ullman, Sarah E.; "The roles of victim and offender alcohol use in sexual assaults: results from the National Violence against women survey," JOURNAL OF STUDIES ON ALCOHOL (2002), 63: 57-63. Data from 859 female sexual assault victims identified from the National Violence Against Women Survey were examined. Logistic regression analyses demonstrated that offender drinking was associated with greater likelihood of rape competition, but was unrelated to physical injury or medical care when victim demographics and assault characteristics were controlled. Offender aggression was the strongest predicator of both victim injury and medical care outcomes (but not rape completion). Furthermore, neither victim drinking at the time of the incident nor victim past drinking was significantly related to assault outcomes. These results suggest that offender behavior is most important for predicting assault outcomes sustained by sexual assault victims.

Victims perceived that 63.5% of their assailants were using alcohol and or drugs, of which 70.8% were judged to have used alcohol only. Victims reported using alcohol and or drugs themselves in 19.9% of assaults, of which 83.9% involved alcohol use only. More than half of assaults committed by either husbands/partners (28.2%) or boyfriends/dates (29.4%), close to one quarter (24.4%) were perpetrated by another male acquaintance. Less than one quarter (18.0%) of assaults were perpetrated by strangers to the victims. Almost all (94.3%) sexual assaults occurred indoors. Approximately one third (34.5%) or offenders used physical aggression against their victims, 10.0% carried a weapon, and 31.1% threatened to harm or kill the victim or someone else close to the victims.

Burden, Matthew J.; Jacobson, Sandra W.; Jacobson, Joseph L.; Relation of prenatal alcohol exposure to cognitive processing speed and efficiency in childhood, ALCOHOLISM : CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH (August 2005), 29(8):1473-1483 August 2005. The study was designed to examine prenatal alcohol-related deficits in both processing speed and processing efficiency in four domains of cognitive function. Black children (n = 337; age, 7.5 years), prospectively recruited to over-represent prenatal alcohol exposure at moderate-to-heavy levels, were assessed on four processing speed tasks, using a Sternberg paradigm. Prenatal alcohol exposure was associated with slower processing speed on several of the Sternberg tasks, and the number comparison task showed a specific deficit in processing efficiency. These effects on tasks involving effortful processing contrasted with the lack of performance differences on the more automatic RT measure. The relation of prenatal alcohol exposure to working memory was mediated, in part, by an associated reduction in processing speed. These data confirm reports by other investigators linking prenatal alcohol exposure to slower processing speed and show that this RT deficit is found within the context of complex cognition but not where automatic processing is involved. The reduction in RT accounts, in part, for the previously reported alcohol-related effects on working memory. The number comparison slope was the only specific component of information processing affected, confirming previous reports of a distinctive prenatal alcohol effect on number processing.

Caetano, R.; Schafer, J.; Fals-Stewrt, W.; O'Farrell, A. T.; Miller, B.; "Intimate partner violence and drinking: new research on methodological issues, stability and change, and treatment", ALCOHOLISM: CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH 92003). 27 (2): 292-300. (137 men) "We found that the timing of violent episodes was more likely to occur during or shortly after the drinking episodes. Also, individuals seeking treatment for domestic violence who have more severe alcohol misuse problems ( drinking six or more drinks in 24 hours are more than 18 times higher and the odds for sever are more than 19 times higher) were found generally more likely to engage in partner violence on any given day, regardless of drinking, than their counterparts without drinking problems."

Chakkalakal, Dennis A. ; "Alcohol-induced bone loss and deficient bone repair" ALCOHOLISM: CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH (2005), 29(12):2077-2090. "Chronic consumption of excessive alcohol eventually results in an osteopenic skeleton and increased risk for osteoporosis. Alcoholics experience not only increased incidence of fractures from falls, but also delays in fracture healing compared with non-alcoholics. In this review the term "alcohol-induced bone disease" is used to refer to these skeletal abnormalities. Alcohol-induced osteopenia is distinct from osteoporosis such as post menopausal osteoporosis and disuse osteoporosis. Gonadal insufficiency increases the rate of bone remodeling, whereas alcohol decreases this rate. Thus, histomorphometric studies show different characteristics for the bone loss that occurs in these two disease states. In particular, alcohol-induced osteopenia results mainly from decreased bone formation rather than increased bone resorption. Human, animal and cell culture studies of the effects of alcohol on bone strongly suggest alcohol has a dose-dependent toxic effect on osteoblast activity. The capacity of bone marrow stromal cells to differentiate into osteoblasts has a critical role in the cellular processes involved in the maintenance of the adult human skeleton by bone remodeling. Chronic alcohol consumption suppresses osteoblastic differentiation of bone marrow cells and promotes adipogenesis. In fracture healing, the effect of alcohol is to suppress synthesis of an ossifiable matrix, possibly due to inhibition of cell proliferation and maldifferentiation of mesenchymal cells in the repair tissue. This results in the deficient bone repair observed in animal studies, characterized by repair tissue of lower stiffness, strength and mineral content. Current knowledge of cellular effects and molecular mechanisms involved in alcohol-induced bone disease is insufficient to develop interventional strategies for its prevention and treatment.

"Chocolate and craving," About.com now VeryWell.com. "The same alkaloid compounds found in alcohol are also present in chocolate, researchers say. Women seem to be more prone to chocolate cravings than men. The Diabetes Association report found that only 15 percent of males appear to crave chocolate, as much as 40 percent of women do - and 75 percent of them claim that absolutely nothing other than chocolate can satisfy their appetite. Because chocolate cravings may be influenced by a deficiency in magnesium, that this may be why some experience an increase in chocolate cravings during PMS."

Wendy Chen of Brigham and Women's Hospital, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues studied the self-reported habits and health of more than 80,000 nurses in the United States, including 44,187 post menopausal nurses.

The researched discovered that women past menopause who reported having an average of one and a half drinks a day had a 30 percent greater risk of breast cancer than those who drank little or no alcohol. Women who took HRT for five years and drank the same amount nearly doubled their risk.

The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 190,000 U.S. women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year, and it is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in women, after lung cancer. About.com January 16, 2003. ANNALS OF INTERNAL MEDICINE (2003).

Chesson, Harrell W.; Harrison, Paul; Stall, Ron; "Changes in alcohol consumption and in sexually transmitted disease incidence rates in the United States: 1983-1998", JOURNAL OF STUDIES ON ALCOHOL (2003), 64: 623-630. "Results: From 1983 to 1998, changes in alcohol consumption were significantly associated with changes in gonorrhea and syphilis rates. Each 1? increase in per capita alcohol consumption was associated with increase of about ).4% to ).7% in reported gonorrhea incidence rates and 1.8% to 3.6% in reported syphilis incidence rates. Conclusions: The association between alcohol and risky sex, well document at the level of the individual, might hold at the population level as well."


Cole-Hardin, S.; Wilson, J. R.; "Ethanol metabolism in men and women," JOURNAL OF STUDIES ON ALCOHOL (1987), 48 (4): 380-387. (Twins and breath alcohol reproducibility.)

Daugherty, Donald M.;Mathias, Charles W.; Tester Melissa L.; March, Dawn M.;"Age at first drink related to behavioral measures of impulsivity: the immediate and delayed memory tasks", ALCOHOLISM: CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH (2004), 28)3):408-414. Using a laboratory behavioral measure of impulsivity, two groups of women were compared. They differed in their self-reported age of first drink (early-on set drinking, age <18, n=40 and late-onset drinking, age >=21, n=23. The results demonstrate that differences in impulsive behavioral responding are distinguishable even between groups of alcohol drinkers who are not experiencing clinically significant problems with alcohol.


Davies, Becky T.; Bowen, Charles T.; "Total body water and peak alcohol concentration: a comparative study of young, middle-age, and older females," ALCOHOLISM: CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH (1999) 23 (6): 969-975. "Bioelectrical impedance analysis and anthropomorphic equations were used to estimate the total body water, percent body water, and percent body fat for each subject. Significantly higher blood alcohol concentrations were obtained in older females[mean blood alcohol concentration (+/-SD) = 0.0975 +/- 0.018], compared with younger females 0.0818 =/- 0.016 and 0.0811 +/- 0.012). The results suggest that this effect cannot be fully explained by the notion that older persons have a smaller body water volume. Particular attention is paid to the difference between total body water in liters and body water as expressed as a percentage of body weight. Evidence is offered to demonstrated that percent body fat is not a determinate of the blood alcohol level as an individual will attain. The findings are discussed with particular reference to the lack of experimental work involving older females and alcohol.

Dees, W. Les; Srivastava, Vinod K.; Hiney, Jill K.; "Alcohol and female puberty: the role of intraovarin systems", ALCOHOL RESEARCH AND HEALTH, 25 (4). Research suggests that the normal timing and progression of puberty may be at risk in human adolescents consuming even relatively moderate amounts of alcohol on a regular basis. Evidence reviewed above supports a contributory role for the IFG-1 (insulin-like-growth factor-1) and NO (nitric oxide) systems in regulating ovarian function. Moreover, the function of these systems can be altered by alcohol. Chronic alcohol exposure decreases production of ovarian IGF-1 and its receptor and increases ovarian production of NO. These actions suggest a combined negative effect contributing to suppressed estradiol secretion at a critical time of ovarian maturation. Thus, the effects of alcohol exposure during adolescence may result not only from disturbances of the H-P-O axis but also from altered functioning of intra ovarian systems. Alcohol's effects on intra ovarian systems in mature women are unknown.

The postulated existence of multiple mechanisms whereby alcohol can delay puberty underscores the need for increased prevention and public education efforts to convince youth of the risks of drinking. Ongoing research will determine the possible long-range consequences of alcohol-induced interference with puberty.

Dick, Danielle M.; Pagan, Jason L.; Holiday, Candice, Viken, Richard, Pulkkinen, Lea, Kaprio, Jaakko, Rose, Richard J.; "Gender differences in friends' influences on adolescent drinking: a genetic and epidemiological study", ALCOHOLISM: CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH ( December,2007), Results: Friends' drinking, smoking, and delinquency were more strongly related to alcohol use in adolescents with opposite-sex friends, compared to adolescents with only same-sex friends. Friends' alcohol use showed modest evidence of genetic influence in girls, suggesting peer selection, however, there was no evidence of genetic influence on friends' alcohol use in boys. The correlation between adolescent and friend drinking was largely attributable to shared environmental effects and genders. Conclusions: Gender and gender of friends moderate the associations between friends' behavior and adolescents' alcohol use, with evidence that girls, and those with opposite sex friends may be more susceptible to friends' influence. Genetically informative analyses suggest that similarity in alcohol sue between adolescents and their friends is mediated , at least partially, through environmental pathways.

Dick, D. M.; Bernard, M.; Alley, F.; Viken, R; Pulkkinen, L.: Kaprio, J.; Rose, R. J.; "The role of socioregional factors in moderating genetic influences on early adolescent behavior problems and alcohol use", ALCOHOLISM: CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH (October, 2009), 33 (10): 1739-48. Twin and family studies have demonstrated that adolescent alcohol use and behavior problems are influenced by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Recently, studies have begun to investigate how genetic and environmental influences amy interact, with efforts underway to identify specific environmental variables that moderate the expression of genetic dispositions. Here, the test was for moderating effects of socioregional factors on alcohol use and behavior problem assessed in a younger sample of adolescent Finnish twins. Methods: Using date from the population-based Finnish twin study, FinnTwin 12, biometric twin models were fit to data on >1,400 twin pris to examine the significance of each of the socioregional moderating variables on alcohol use measured at age 14, and behavior problems measured at ate 12. Conclusions: The moderation effects observed on behavior problems in early adolescence paralleled the effects found on alcohol use late in adolescence in an independent sample, providing further support for the idea that behavior problems may represent an earlier manifestation of the predisposition to subsequent alcohol problems. Our findings also support the growing body of evidence suggesting that females may be more susceptible to a variety of environmental influences than males.

"Drinking and the female brain: two studies indicate women are more severely effected", About .com. Hommer reports that "Brain shrinkage increases with age in all people. The early decreases seen in alcoholics may make them more vulnerable to cognitive decline and dementia as they grow older." Tapert: "The main finding was that the alcohol-dependent women showed less activation in brain areas that are needed for spatial tasks, like maps and mechanics, and for working with information that is held mentally, like doing math inside your head or making sense of a lecture or set of complex instructions. The brain parts that showed the differences are in areas that we need for finding our way around, and working with all the information we are bombarded with in everyday life."


"Even light drinking while pregnant can be harmful," ALCOHOLISM AND CLINICAL RESEARCH, March, 2004. Even light to moderate drinking during pregnancy may interfere with learning and memory during adolescence. An ongoing longitudinal survey of 580 children and their mothers examined learning and memory to determine whether subjects were having difficulty with initial learning, remembering information for a short time, or after a long period of time. 45 percent of the women drank, on average, less than one drink per day. Despite these relatively low levels of alcohol consumption, researchers found an association with subtle difficulties with learning and memory in the offspring at 14 years of age, specifically with the auditory/verbal domain. Another finding is that the effects of alcohol exposure on memory for verbal information were mediated by verbal learning. Growth deficits among those children exposed to light to moderate drinking during gestation. These finding paralleled earlier reports of continued growth deficits among those children exposed to light to moderate drinking during their mother's pregnancy. "This shows that parental alcohol exposure can lead to deficits in multiple domains." Women planning to become pregnant should visit an obstetrician so they can make better choices about drinking if they are planning to become, or think they may be pregnant.


Fals-Stewart, William; "The occurrence of partner physical aggression on days of alcohol consumption: a longitudinal diary study", JOURNAL OF CONSULTING AND CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY (2003), 71 (1): 41-52. "The likelihood of partner physical aggression on days of male partners' alcohol consumption, during a 15-month period was examined for men entering a domestic violence treatment program (n=137) and domestically violent men entering an alcoholism treatment program (n=135). For men entering the domestic violence treatment program (alcoholism treatment program odds in parentheses), the odds of any male-to-female physical aggression were more then 8 time (111 times) higher on days when men drank than on days of no alcohol consumption. The odds of severe male-to-female physical aggression were more than 11 times (11 times) higher on days of men's drinking than on days of no drinking. These findings support the proximal effect model of alcohol use and partner violence."

Farrimond, Thomas; "Effects of alcohol on visual constancy values and possible relation to driving performance, " PERCEPTUAL AND MOTOR SKILLS (1990), 70: 291-295. [The effects of visual constancy were studied in 21 men and women aged 21-23 over two days. Subjects were tested with and without food. The results indicate that shape/size constancy may be reduced by alcohol. The author hypothesizes that hazards would then appear 20% further away, and a driver who should apply the break at 50 m(eters) may delay brake application until only 40 m(eters) away. Unknown if BAC or breath alcohol.]

"FAS: high risk groups targeted"--Native American and Afro-American women are at the highest risk to have babies with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and should be targeted for intense education about the cause of the condition, research suggests. From About.com December, 8. 2002.


Flynn, Heather A., ALCOHOLISM: CLINICAL & EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH (January, 2003). A Michigan study of 1,131 pregnant women ages 18-46 were surveyed about their alcohol use. Eighty-six percent of the women fell into the low-risk group, consuming one drink or less per week. 7 percent of the women reported one or more binge drinking episodes during their pregnancy. There were no significant differences in drinking behavior associated with the women's martial status, race or education. Women who were low-risk drinkers were significantly older than women who did not drink at all during pregnancy, but there was no significant age difference between low and high-risk drinkers. Among the women who reported any drinking, 54.5 percent of them said their health care provider had talked with them about drinking while pregnant. Flynn and colleagues think that screenings such as the one conducted in their study may improve detection of drinking during pregnancy and prompt timely interventions by obstetricians.

Gardner, Amanda, Binge Drinking on Rise in Young Women, June 23, 2004, HealthDay Reporter. "Binge drinking among young women is on the rise, bringing with it a number of health consequences, including fetal alcohol syndrome. That's the conclusion of a report, Alcohol and Pregnancy Don't Mix , issued Wednesday by the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. It found that binge drinking in women aged 18 to 44 increased in the United States by 13 percent between 1999 and 2002. Binge drinking, defined for the purposes of this report as having more than five drinks on one occasion, puts women at an increased risk for unintended pregnancies and means they are more likely to drink while pregnant. Henry Wechsler, director of College Alcohol Studies at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, called binge drinking "a national problem." "It results in a number of negative effects ranging from automobile fatalities to fetal alcohol syndrome to all sorts of other problems," he said.

Gauthier, Theresa W.; Drews-Botsch, Carolyn, Falek, Arthur; Coles, Claire; Brown, Lou Ann S., "Maternal alcohol abuse and neonatal infection", ALCOHOLISM: CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH (2005), 29 (6):1035-1043. 872 newborns were analyzed with 51 or 5.8% having newborn infections. Infants whose mothers reported alcohol use, excessive drinking or smoking in pregnancy were more likely to have a newborn diagnosed with an infection than were mothers who reported abstaining from alcohol or cigarettes.

Giancola, Peter R.; "Alcohol-related aggression in men and women: the influence of dispositional aggressivity", JOURNAL OF STUDIES ON ALCOHOL (2002) 63: 696-708. "Of all variables, provocation was the strongest elicitor of aggressions. Over all, persons with high dispositional aggressivity exhibited more aggression than did those with low dispositional aggressivity. Alcohol increased aggression for persons with high, but not for those with low, dispositional aggressivity. Men and women with low dispositional aggressivity did not differ in aggression. Men with high dispositional aggressivity, were more aggressive than their female counterparts. This is the first investigation to examine the influence of dispositional aggressivity on the alcohol-aggression relation in men and women. The results highlight the fact that alcohol consumption does not increase aggression in all persons and in all situations."

Grucza, Richard A. , Bucholz, Kathleen K., Rice, John P., Bierut, Laura J.; " trends in the lifetime prevalence of alcohol dependence in the United States: a reevaluation, ALCOHOLISM: CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH (2008), 32 (5): 763-770. "Results: In contrast with results from single cross-sectional analyses, there were few significant cross-cohort differences among groups of men compared at similar ages. On the other hand, women born between 1954 and 1963 were at 1.2-fold higher odds for lifetime drinking, and those who drank were at 1.5-fold higher odds for lifetime alcohol dependence, compared with the immediately preceding birth cohort (1944-1953)). The 1944 to 1952 cohort was also at elevated odd for lifetime drinking compared with their predecessors (1934-1943). These results were largely due to changes among White and Hispanic women.

The researchers speculate that the following cultural changes contributed to the increase in prevalence of alcohol dependence for women after World War II:
--it became more socially acceptable for women to drink
--more women entered the workforce
--more women went to college
--women were less hampered by gender stereotypes
--women had more purchasing power

Another explanation of the increase of alcohol dependence in women is the fact that women have a well-documented heightened vulnerability to the effects of alcohol, compared with men, achieving greater blood alcohol levels with smaller does, the authors stated.

HELPGUIDE.org Women & Alcohol
Risks to women who drink. http://www.helpguide.org/ search for women and alcohol

Hernandez-Collados, A.; Sanchez-Turet, M.; Sanchez-Sastre, J.; "Different cognitive effects in the increasing and decreasing limb of the metabolic curve of ethanol," MEDICAL SCIENCE RESEARCH (1998), 26: 173-175. (20 men and 19 women, single dose of ethanol 1 g/kg, Breath alcohol, mean BAC of 0.24 g/l, subjects performance decreased significantly during absorption. This impairment was related to perceptual motor and visual memory processes. In the elimination phase, at a mean BAC or 0.47 g/l, there was no decrease in performance. We may conclude that behavior was different in the ascending and descending phases. Very low alcohol doses, much lower than that legally permitted for drivers in various countries, produce a marked impairment over a period of time after ingestion of alcohol.)

Hommer, Daniel W.; Momenan, Reza; Kaiser, Erica; Rawlings, Robert R.; "Evidence of a gender-related effect of alcoholism on brain volumes", AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRY (2001),158 : 198-204. (Alcoholic women had significantly smaller volumes of gray and white matter as well as greater volumes of sulcal and ventricular CSF than nonalcoholic women. The differences in gray and white matter volumes between alcoholic and nonalcoholic men were significant, but the significance of these differences was of a smaller magnitude than the significance of the difference between alcoholic and nonalcoholic women. Direct comparisons of alcoholic men and women showed that the proportion of intra cranial contents occupied by gray matter was smaller in alcoholic women than in alcoholic men. the magnitudes of differences in brain volumes adjusted for intra cranial size between alcoholic women and nonalcoholic women were greater than the magnitudes of the adjusted differences between alcoholic men and nonalcoholic men. Conclusion: These results are consistent with greater sensitivity to alcohol neurotoxicity among women.)

"How safe are women in barrooms?", University of Buffalo's Research Institute on Addictions (RIA), JOURNAL OF INTERPERSONAL VIOLENCE (2003), December. The study showed that heavy drinking, going to and leaving a bar with individuals not well-known to the women and talking to a greater number of individuals while in the bar environment are social behaviors associated with barreled aggression. The competitive activity of playing pool and illegal activities involving drug sales or prostitution in a bar were identified as increasing the risk of severe physical aggression. 198 women with a average age of 29 who were considered at relatively high risk and drinks in bars at least once a month, reported drinking an average of six drinks on a typical night at their usual bar.

"How women recover from addiction" About.com, June 2, 2003. Many of theses women are over the age of 35 and hold a college degree &endash; took a proactive role in overcoming substance abuse, replacing those addictions with new lifestyles that include school, work, community service and physical exercise.

Women are the fastest-growing segment of substance abusers in the United States: About 2.7 million American women abuse alcohol or drugs, or one-quarter of all abusers, according to the Federal Center for Substance Abuse Prevention. The women viewed using drugs and alcohol as an activity they were involved in, not an identity they had assumed.

The participants began using drugs or alcohol in their teens or early 20s to mask the pain of family violence and incest, according to Grant, who added that all also reported having a family member who was an addict. These experiences produced crippling low self-esteem, a theme particular to these women's stories.

"I've never heard a male addict, to this day, in my work, talk about a 'lack of self-esteem,'" Grant said.

Hallfors, Denise D., Waller, Martha W.. Ford, Carol A., et. al.; "Adolescent depression and suicide risk association with sex and drug behavior", AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PREVENTIVE MEDICINE (2004), 27 (3): 224-231. Teens engaging in risk behaviors re at increased odds for depression, suicidal ideation, and suicide attempts. Although causal direction as not established, involvement in any sex or drug use is cause for concern, and should be a clinical indication for mental health screening for girls; both boys and girls should be screened if engaging in any marijuana or illegal drug use.

Jerslid, Devon; "Alcohol in the vulnerable lives of college women," CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION (2002), 48, (38): B10, 2p. "Alcohol related problems in any population increase as consumption increases. At two drinks a day, a woman's health risks increase significantly. Getting drunk at an early age is a very strong predictor of problem drinking and multiple addictions. Even when a woman and a man weigh the same, the woman gets high on less alcohol, and she gets addicted more easily. She more quickly develops such physical complications as liver disease, high blood pressure, and hepatitis. (For instance: A woman's risk of liver cirrhosis begins at only two drinks a day; a man's risk begins at four to six drinks a day.) In sobriety, a woman's damaged organs take longer to repair themselves. If she has four or more drinks a day, some studies show that she is also up to 40 percent more likely to get breast cancer than women who don't drink. Female alcoholics are as much as twice as likely to die as male alcoholics in the same age group--even as male alcoholics die at three times the rate of men in the general population. This is due partly to higher accident rates, victimization, and physiological vulnerability among women, although suicide is a factor. Generally women actually have a higher rate of successful suicide. Teen girls who drink are more than five times a month are almost six times more likely to attempt suicide than those who never drink." If you, as a woman, live like a man, work like a man, and drink like a man you will become addicted sooner and die sooner, because you aren't a man.

Ling, J,; Hefferman, T. J.; Buchanan, t.; Rodgers, J.'; Scholey, A. B.; Parrott, A. C.; "Effects of alcohol on subjective ratings of prospective and everyday memory deficits", ALCOHOLISM: CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH (2003), 27 (6): 970-4. 763 participants: 463 female, and 298 males. Heavy drinking was defined as 25 drinks per week, moderate 10 t0 24 drinks per week and light one to nine drinks per week. (Moderate drinking is defined as no more than 2 drinks per day for males and no more than one per day for females.) Research has shown that heavy alcohol use has a detrimental effect on retrospective memory. Less is known about the effect of alcohol on everyday memory. This study examined self-ratings for two aspects of memory performance: prospective memory (for example, forgetting to pass on a messages) and everyday memory (measured by cognitive failures, such as telling someone a joke you told them before). The results support and extend the findings of previous research: the findings were consistent with the idea that heavy use of alcohol does have a significant and negative effect on everyday cognitive performance. Someone drinking more than 21 drinks per week for women and 28 for men should know they may have significant cognitive impairment from that.

Mann, K.; Ackermann, B.; Croissant, G.; Nakovics, H.; Diehl, A.; "Neuroimaging of gender differences in alcohol dependence: are women more vulnerable?', ALCOHOLISM: CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH (2005), 29 (5): 896-901. (158 subjects 76 women and 82 age-atched men) "Women typically start to drink later in life, consume less per occasion and are, in general, less likely to develop alcohol dependence. One could reason that women are less affected by alcohol. But there is, in fact, evidence for a faster progression of the developmental events leading to dependence among female alcoholics and an earlier onset of adverse consequences of alcoholism. This suggests that women may be more vulnerable to chronic alcohol consumption."

"We confirmed greater brain atrophy in alcoholic women and men compared to healthy controls," said Mann. "Furthermore, the women developed equal brain-volume reductions as the men after a significantly shorter period of alcohol dependence than the men. These results corroborate previous studies that have found other gender-related consequences of alcohol, such as cognitive deficits, alcoholic cardiomyopathy, myopathy of skeletal muscle, and alcoholic liver disease - all of which occur earlier in women than in men despite a significantly shorter exposure to alcohol." The good news is that abstinence seems to partially reverse the brain atrophy, for both genders.

Mohler-Kuo, Meichun; Dowdall, George W.; Koss, Mary P.; and Wechsler, Henry; "Correlates of rape while intoxicated in a national sample of college women," JOURNAL OF STUDIES ON ALCOHOL (2004), 65: 37-48. Heavy alcohol use is widespread among college students, particularly in those social situations where the risk of rape rises. The purpose of this study was to present prevalence data for rape under the condition of intoxication when the victim is unable to consents and to identify college and individual-level risk factors associated with the condition. Results: roughly one in twenty women reported being raped. Nearly three quarters (72%) of the victims experienced rape while intoxicated. Women who were under 21, were white, reside in sorority house, use illicit drugs, drank heavily in high school and attended colleges with high rates of heavy episodic drinking were at higher risk of rape while intoxicated. Conclusions: The high proportion of rapes found to occur when women were intoxicated indicates the need for alcohol prevention programs on campuses that address sexual assault, both to educate men about what constitutes rape and to advise women of risky situations. The findings that some campus environments are associated with higher levels of both drinking and rape will help target rape prevention programs in colleges."

Negrusz, Adam; "Estimate of the incidence of drug-facilitated sexual assault in the U. S.", National Criminal Justice Reference Service, 2005. "Although less than five percent of sexual assault victims are immobilized by date-rape drugs, drugs play a role in 62 percent of the estimated 100,000 reported assaults committed in the United States each year, due to the voluntary use of drugs by the victims.

O'Connor, Mary J.; Whaley, Shannon E.; "Health care provider advice and risk factors associated with alcohol consumption following pregnancy recognition", JOURNAL OF STUDIES ON ALCOHOL (2006) 67:22-31. 279 women continued to drink after learning they were pregnancy. 60% of the sample continued to drink even though they were advised of the possible hazards to their child

Alcoholism's effects ripple though out our society, says Pace, who cites a sobering array of statistics:
*50% of family court cases involve the use of alcohol;
*38% of child-abuse case involve alcohol;
*80% of fire deaths and 40 % of industrial accidents involve drinking;
*60% of murders involve alcohol;
*50% of suicides and 50% of fatal auto accidents involve drinking;
*between 20 and 40% of homeless Americans have a drinking problem.:
*fetal alcohol syndrome is now the third-leading cause of birth defects in the United States.

Sinha, Rajita;, "Women." In: HANDBOOK OF ALCOHOLISM, edited by Gerald Zernig, Boca Raton: CRC Press, 2000, pp. 151-164. "14 million U. S. adults (7.55% of the adult population) meet criteria for alcohol abuse or dependence at any given time and approximately one-third are women. This gender gap in problem drinking is getting smaller, especially for the younger age group, with recent surveys indicating that the ratio of problem drinking women as compared to men for the 18 to 29 age groups is 2:1. Women become intoxicated after drinking smaller quantities of alcohol as compared to men. After consuming the same amount of alcohol, women achieve higher blood alcohol levels than men. First, women have lower total body water than men of comparable size. As alcohol diffuses uniformly in all body water after consumption, and women have less body water than men, the achieve higher concentrations of alcohol in their blood then men after drinking equivalent amounts of alcohol. Second, there is evidence to suggest that women have reduced activity of alcohol dehydrogenase, the primary enzyme involved in alcohol metabolism in the stomach where a substantial amount of alcohol is metabolized before it enters systemic circulation. This diminished activity leads to less metabolism of alcohol in the stomach for women and higher amounts entering the bloodstream and available for its effect on various organ system. In fact, alcoholic women have virtually nonexistent amounts of gastric alcohol dehydrogenase, making them more vulnerable to alcohol's negative effects. Finally, there is some evidence that fluctuation in gonadal hormonal levels during the menstrual cycle may affect the rate of alcohol metabolism and contribute to the increased blood alcohol concentrations in women.

"Harassing under the influence; male drinking norms and behaviors and the gender harassment of female coworkers". This study was funded by NIAAA and conducted by the R. Brinkley Smithers Institute for Alcohol-Related Workplace Studies at Cornell University. A coauthor was Samuel Bacharach. The survey found a more than twofold increase in the incidence of gender harassment experienced by women for every additional alcoholic drink consumed by the men in their work units during or around working hours. Women are at greater risk of gender harassment when they worked in places where heavy drinking, particularly on the part of their male colleagues, was tolerated.

Physiologic effects of consumption:
*Intoxication at lower doses
*Toxic effects of alcohol occur at lower doses
*Death rates are 50 to 100% higher in women than men
* Death rates are related to suicides, alcohol-related accidents, circulatory disorders, and liver cirrhosis
Alcohol-induced liver disease
*Greater incidence in women
*More rapid progression of disease in women
Neurological and cognitive impairment
*Greater cerebral atrophy in women
*Greater susceptibility to alcohol-related cognitive impairment
Breast cancer
*Increased risk for breast cancer has been suggested
Menstrual cycle disorders and gynecological problems
* Painful menstruation, heavy flow, and greater premenstrual discomfort
*Irregular and absent cycles
*Early menopause
*Ovarian dysfunction
*Pregnancy-related problems
*Fetal alcohol syndrome
*Preterm birth

Several studies have found a significant association between childhood sexual abuse and heavy drinking in women. In a 1992 U. S. survey of alcohol and family violence, a wife's drinking, whether alone or with her husband, led to more severe violence both by and toward the wife. Women with alcohol problems are often reported to have higher overall comorbid psychiatric disorders, especially affective disorders, borderline personality disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Alcoholic women entering treatment also have lower self-esteem as compared to alcoholic men, which may be related to high rates of physical and sexual abuse among alcoholic women. Adolescent girls are more influenced by peer drinking than boys, and group pressure contributes significantly to alcohol misuse among female adolescents. Both clinical and epidemiological data have consistently revealed strong relationships between women's drinking and their partner's drinking across the world. Essentially, the data indicate that women with problem drinking are more likely than their male counterparts to have spouses or significant others who are problem drinkers.

There is also a significant amount of social stigma and stereotyping in society regarding alcohol use among women. Marital status plays a significant role in drinking patterns among women. Young women who are single, divorced, or separated are more likely to drink frequently and in larger quantities than married women. Data suggests that when treatment focuses on relationship and family issues, outcomes for families and the women themselves are enhanced. Alcoholic men are more likely to receive treatment than women.

Lynskey, Michael T.; Bucholz, Kathleen K.; Madden, Pamela A. F.; Heath, Andrew C.; "Early-onset alcohol-use behaviors and subsequent alcohol-related driving risks in young women: a twin study:, JOURNAL OF STUDIES ON ALCOHOL AND DRUGS (2007), 68 (7): 798-804. The purpose of this study was to estimate associations between early-onset alcohol use/intoxication and subsequent risks of alcohol-related driving risks in young women after control for familial liability for these behaviors. Method: Self-reported data on alcohol use and associated risks were collected from a representative sample of 3,786 Missouri-born adolescent female twins. Results: After statistical control for familial liability to alcohol-related driving risks, alcohol dependence, and length of exposure to risk (i.e., time between the earlier of age at onset of drinking or age 6 (the minimum legal driving age in Missouri), young women who reported early-onset alcohol use/intoxication had odds of alcohol-related driving risks that were from 1.6 to 2.2 times higher than those with a later onset of alcohol use or intoxication. Conclusions: Young women who commence drinking at an early age are at heightened risks for subsequent alcohol-related driving risks, and these associations cannot be explained entirely by familial liability for these behaviors.

Mennella, Julie A.; Garcia-Gomez, Pamela L.; (Sleep disturbances after acute exposure to alcohol in mother's milk," ALCOHOL (2001), 25: 153-158. "Although the mechanisms underlying the reduction in sleep remain to be elucidated, these findings demonstrate that short-term exposure to small amounts of alcohol in mother's milk produces distinctive changes in the infants' sleep-wake patterning.)

Mumenthaler, M.; Taylor, J.; O'Hara, R.; Yesavage, J.' "Gender differences in moderate drinking effects: ALCOHOL RESEARCH & HEALTH (1999)23 (1): 55-64. Women appear to become more impaired than men after drinking equivalent amounts of alcohol, achieving higher blood alcohol concentrations even when doses re adjusted for body weight. This finding my be attributable in part to gender difference in total boy water content. Men and women appear to eliminate approximately the same total amount of alcohol per unit body weight per hour. However, women seed to eliminate significantly more alcohol per unit of learn body mass per hour then men. Some studies report that women are more susceptible than men to alcohol-related impairment of cognitive performance, especially in tasks involving delayed memory or divided attention functions. Psychomotor performance impairment, however, does not appear to be affected by gender. The article provides an overview of alcohol metabolism (pharmacokinetics) and reviews recent studies on gender differences in alcohol absorption, distribution, elimination, and impairment. Speculation that gender differences in alcohol pharmacokinetics or alcohol-induced performance impairment may be caused by the menstrual cycle and variations in female sex hormones are discussed. It is concluded that the menstrual cycle is unlikely to influence alcohol pharmacokinetics.

Nephin, Dan, "Teens shorter, lighter if mom drank in pregnancy," ANCHORAGE DAILY NEWS, October 17, 2002. University of Pittsburgh researcher, Nancy Day said her study reinforces the federal governments' stand that no alcohol is safe for pregnant women. Day found that even light drinking--about 11/2 drinks a week and measurable effects on children in later years. At age 14, children born to women who were light drinkers in their first trimester weighted about 3 pounds less than children born to abstainers and children born to heavy drinkers weighted up to 16 pounds less than children born to abstainers. Since 1982 Day is following 565 children whose mothers drank and plans to look at alcohol's cognitive effects.

New Breast Cancer Risk Found: Mom's Drinking Can Increase Risk of Daughter's Breast Cancer, Oct. 21, 2002, About.com. "Women who drink moderate to high quantities of alcohol during pregnancy could be contributing to an increased risk of breast cancer among their daughters, according to a study presented at the first annual Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research meeting conducted by the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). Since alcohol increases both estrogens in the blood as well as breast cancer risk, researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center wondered whether alcohol exposure in utero through a pregnant mother affects breast cancer risk. Further, findings obtained in human studies suggest that the in utero period plays an important role in determining future risk of developing breast cancer. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related death in women."

"No drinking 'safe" for moms: even one drink a day can be harmful if pregnant," About.com No amount of drinking, not even one glass of wine is safe for pregnant women without possibly affecting the behavior of their child, according to research from Wayne State University.

Paddock, Catharine "Any type of alcohol drink raises breast cancer risk, new study". Medical News Today, September 28, 2007. A large US study suggests that it did not matter whether women drank beer, wine, or spirits, they all raised the risk of breast cancer to the same extent. And more than three alcoholic drinks a day raised breast cancer risk by 30 per cent, compared to women who had less than one drink a day. Dr. Arthur Klatsky, of the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program in Oakland, California, was the lead researcher. The results found that:
--there was no difference in breast cancer risk between wine, beer, and spirit consumption
--even between red and white wine, the impact was the same
--women who had between one and two drinks a day had a 10 percent higher breast cancer risk compared to those who had one drink a day
--the risk went up to 30 per cent for women who had more than three drinks a day
--the result was the same for all age and ethic groups.

70,033 women of different ethic origin who underwent health exams during the period 1978 to 1985 and look at the breast cancer incidence in the cohort in subsequent years. They found that 2,829 of the women had been diagnosed with breast cancer by 2004.

Parks, Kathleen A.; Romosz, Ann M.; Bradizza, Clara M.; Hsieh, Ya-Ping; "A dangerous transition: women's drinking and related victimization from high school to the first year at college", JOURNAL OF STUDIES ON ALCOHOL AND OTHER DRUGS (2008), 68: 65-74. The current study assessed women's risk for victimization during the first year at college, bade on changes in drinking during the transition from high school to college. We were specifically interested in differential risk for victimization based on women's change in drinking status over the transition to college. We compared continued abstainers with women who began drinking ("new" drinkers) and women who continued drinking but either decreased, increased or did not change their level of weekly drinking. Conclusions: In comparison with abstainers, having a history of physical victimization, greater psychological symptoms, and being a "new" drinker increased the the odds of physical victimization, whereas having a greater number of current psychological symptoms, sexual partners, and increasing weekly drinking increased the odds of sexual victimization during the first year at college.

Parks, Kathleen, A., Fals-Stewart, William; "The Temporal relationship between college women's alcohol consumption and victimization experiences". ALCOHOLISM: CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH (2004); 28 (4): 625-629. College women have a much greater chance of experiencing victimization &endash; both sexual and nonsexual &endash; on the days they drink. Researchers found the odds of experiencing sexual aggression were nine times higher on heavy days and three times higher on nonheavy days of alcohol consumption compared with days of no alcohol consumption. The odds of experiencing sexual aggression were nine times higher on heavy drinking days and three times higher on nonheavy days of alcohol consumption compared with days of no alcohol consumption. What we found was that the risk for experiencing victimization dramatically increased with the consumption of alcohol above the risk that exists when alcohol is not consumed. ". . . .the perpetrator has a choice, they don't have to attack or assault."

Perry, Bridget L.; Miles, Donna; Burruss, Karen; Svikis, Dace S.; "Premenstrual symptomatology and alcohol consumption in college women." JOURNAL OF STUDIES ON ALCOHOL (2004), 68: 464-468. Results revealed that PMS significantly predicted annual weekday alcohol consumption, but did not predict annual weekend alcohol consumption. The conclusions suggests the relationship between PMS and alcohol consumption exists to nonclinical samples of college women who are relatively early in their drinking careers before the development of sever alcohol related problems. Thus, premenstrual symptomatology may be an important risk factor for alcohol consumption among college women. Education on the relationship between PMS and the risk for alcohol misuses may provide beneficial information for both alcohol prevention and interventions efforts on college campuses and may be beneficial in identifying women at risk for heavy alcohol consumption and alcohol problems." (N=193 women.)

Pfefferbaum, Adolph; Rosenbloom, Margaret; Deshmukh, Anjali; Sullivan, Edith V.; "Sex differences in the effects of alcohol on brain structure," AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRY (2001): 158: 188-197. (Conclusion: Alcoholic men and women show different brain morphological deficits, relative to same-sex comparison subjects. However, age and alcoholism interact in both sexes, which puts all older alcoholics at particular risk for the negative sequelae of alcoholism.)

Philip, Margaret, "New test can reveal a baby's alcohol exposure," globalandmail.com., November 5, 2002, page 3. Doctors at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children have invented a test on the tar-like first bowel movements of newborns for chemical clues that their mothers drank alcohol in pregnancy, a breakthrough in the detective work of diagnosing fetal alcohol syndrome.


Racer, Paul, "Just two drinks a day could kill brain cells in unborn baby," Chicago Sun-Times, February 15, 2004. "Just two cocktails consumed by a pregnant woman might be enough to kill some of the developing brain cells in the unborn child, leading to neurological problems that can haunt a person for a lifetime, new studies suggest. Dr. John W. Olney, a brain researcher at Washington University in St. Louis, said his studies show that alcohol can cause nerve cells in the developing brain to commit suicide. And, based on animal studies, it doesn't take much alcohol to have this effect, Olney reported Friday at the national meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Two cocktails, in most women, are enough to elevate alcohol levels in the blood to 0.07 percent, he said. The animal studies show that in unborn mice, this concentration is enough to kill developing brain cells. ''That amount of alcohol would cause a state of intoxication just under the legal limit, which is 0.08 percent in most states,'' he said."

Reinan, John, "Here's not to your health," HEALTHSCOUTNEWSREPORTER, Friday, May 10, 2002.
"And because of cultural changes that have made it more acceptable for women to drink, they are closing the alcoholism gam with men. "Over the last century, the rate of alcoholism has been 4-to-1 or 5-to-1, male to female," Morse says. "But in the baby boomer generation, it's now closer to 2-to-1. Women are gaining in this area, unfortunately."

Rice, J. P.; Neuman, R. J.; Saccone, N. L.; Corbett, J.; Rochberg, N.; Hasselbrock, V.; Bucholz, K. K.; McGuffin, P.; "Age and birth cohort effects on rates of alcohol dependence", ALCOHOLISM CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH (2003), 27 (1): 93-9. In the sample, they observed higher rates of alcoholism in more recently born individuals; analysis of family history information indicated a higher rate of alcoholism in relatives who were deceased; and co-morbid diagnoses of antisocial personality or depression, as well as cigarette smoking were predictors of risk. The family history indicates that alcoholics may die younger, so that a bias is introduced when only living individual are surveyed.

For example, Rice said, "the rate of alcoholism in female relatives born between 1950 and 1959, as well as those born between 1960 and 1979, was about 30%, compared to 4.5% in female relatives born before 1929. In the controls, the rate was 13% in recently born women, compared to 2.3% in women born during the 1930's. These are dramatic differences. A similar effect is seen in men, but not as pronounced."

Roan, Shari; "Threat behind the party-girl image", LOS ANGELES TIMES (2006), May 8, P. F4. Concerns the rising numbers of female binge drinkers and why they binge drink.

Schuck, Amie, M.; Widom, Cathy Spatz; "Childhood victimization and alcohol symptoms in women: an examination of protective factors", JOURNAL OF STUDIES ON ALCOHOL (2003), 64: 247-256. Studies have documented a relationship between childhood victimization and alcohol problems in women. Conclusions: Interventions to improve educational achievement and to increase feelings of self-efficacy (possibly through empowerment programs) may be effective in reducing alcohol problems in women abused and neglected as children.

Slutske, Wendy S.; Piasecki, Thomas M.; Hunt-Carter, Erin E.; "Development and initial validation of the Hangover Symptoms Scale: prevalence and correlates of hangover symptoms in college students", ALCOHOLISM: CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH (2003), 27 (9): 1442-1450. 1230 currently drinking college students (62% women, 91% Caucasian) were administered a self-report inventory in which they reported the frequency of occurrence of 13 different hangover symptoms during the past 12 months. Participants also reported their history of alcohol involvement, alcohol-related problems, and family history of alcohol-related problems. On average the participants experienced 5 out of 13 different hangover symptoms in the past year; the three most common symptoms on the HSS were feeling extremely thirsty/dehydrated, feeling more tired than usual, and headache. Higher scores on the HSS were positively associated with the frequency of drinking and getting drunk and the typical quantity of alcohol consumed when drinking, a personal history of alcohol-related problems, and a family history of alcohol-related problems. After controlling for sex differences in alcohol involvement, women had higher scores on the HSS than men. Students had been hung over between three and eleven times. Students who had reported having alcohol-related problems or who had one or both biological parents with a history of alcohol-related problems had more hangovers.

Sorensen, H. J.; Manzardo, A. M.; Knop, J.; Penick, E. C.; Madarasz, W.; Nickel, E. J.; Becker, U.; Mortensen, E. L.; "The contribution of parental alcohol use disorders and other psychiatric illness to the risk of alcohol use disorders in the offspring", ALCOHOLISM: CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH (2011), 35 (7):1315-1320. This study involved 7177 Danish parents born in Copenhagen between October 1959 and December 1961. This Danish study is one of the first longitudinal population studies conducted over multiple generations. The study found that the link between parental alcoholism and alcohol use disorders among offspring exists independent of other factors including generations, parental social status and parental psychiatric hospitalization for other diagnoses. Parental AUD (alcohol use disorders) was associated with an increased risk of offspring AUD independent of other significant predictors, such as gender, parental social status, and parental psychiatric hospitalization with other diagnoses. Furthermore, this association appeared to be stronger among female than male offspring. The results suggest that inherited factors related to alcoholism are at least as important in determining the risk of alcoholism among daughters as among sons.


Spear, Norman E.; Molina, Juan C., "Fetal or infantile exposure to ethanol promotes ethanol ingestion in adolescence and adulthood: a theoretical review", ALCOHOLISM: CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH (2005), 29 (6): 909-929. Ethanol has rewarding consequences for the fetus or young infant is supported by recent evidence with perinatal rats. Several studies have shown that such early exposure to ethanol may in some circumstances make the infant treat ethanol-realated events as averse, and yet enhanced intake of ethanol in adolescence is nevertheless a consequence. Alternative interpretations of this paradox are considered among the varied circumstances of early ethanol exposure that lead to increased affinity for ethanol.

Stockwell, Tim, McLeod, Roberta, Stevens, Margaret, et al.; "Alcohol consumption, setting, gender and activity as predictors of injury: a population-based case-control study," JOURNAL OF STUDIES ON ALCOHOL (2002), 63: 372-379. The data confirm earlier findings that risk of injury for women fro a given level of consumption is greater than for men. They extend earlier findings by identifying significant setting, activity and drug use variables predictive of injury. In addition, when these latter variables are controlled, it is found that for women, but not for men, the risk of injury is significantly elevated and even at lower levels of alcohol intake.

Tapert, Susan F.; Brown, Gregory, G.; Kindermann, Sandra S.; Cheung, Erick H.; Frank, Lawrence R.; Brown, Sandra A.; "fMRI Measurement of brain dysfunction in alcohol-dependent young women", ALCOHOLISM: CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH (2001), 25(2):236-245, February 2001,

"Alcohol-dependent women demonstrated significantly less blood oxygen level-dependent response than controls during the spatial working memory task in the right superior and inferior parietal, right middle frontal, right postcentral, and left superior frontal cortex, after controlling for the baseline vigilance response.

"Working memory produces a larger neuronal response in some cortical regions than vigilance. Alcohol-dependent women showed less differential response to working memory than controls in frontal and parietal regions, especially in the right hemisphere. Heavy, chronic drinking appears to produce adverse neural effects that are detectable by functional magnetic resonance imaging."


Thomasson, H., "Alcohol elimination: faster in women?" ALCOHOLISM: CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH (2000), 24 (4): 419-240. (The author describes his study examining gender differences in ethanol elimination rates in 45 male and 45 female subjects with identical ADH2 and ALDH2 genotypes and with control of as many relevant environmental factors as possible. The ethanol elimination rate was significantly higher in women than in men, but how this related to women's greater vulnerability to ethanol toxicity is a mystery.) Thomasson, H.' "alcohol elimination: faster in women?"; ALCOHOLISM: CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH (2000), 24 (4): 419-420. 11.(References) This is one of a series of short papers that were presented at a workshop on issues relevant to the absorption, distribution, and elimination of alcohol in non-alcoholics. The meeting was convened by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. This article is not peer reviewed.

U. S. Surgeon General Releases Advisory on Alcohol Use in Pregnancy, "Urges women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant to abstain from alcohol". U. S. Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona today warned pregnant women and women who may become pregnant to abstain from alcohol consumption in order to eliminate the chance of giving birth to a baby with any of the harmful effects of the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD. This updates a 1981 Surgeon General's Advisory that suggested that pregnant women limit the amount of alcohol they drink. "We must prevent all injury and illness that is preventable in society, and alcohol-related birth defects are completely preventable," Dr. Richard H. Carmona said.


Watkins, R. L.; Adler, E. V.; "The Effect of food on alcohol absorption and elimination patterns," JOURNAL OF FORENSIC SCIENCES (1993), 38 (2), 285-291. (6 men, 3 women, breath alcohol and fasted and non fasted.)

Watson, Patricia E.; Watson, Ian D.; Batt, Richard D.; "Prediction of blood alcohol concentrations in human subjects: updating the Widmark equation," JOURNAL OF STUDIES ON ALCOHOL (1981), 42 (7): 547-556. Men and women were tested.

Watson, Patricia E.; "Total body water and blood alcohol levels: updating the fundaments," In: K. E. Crow, R. D. Batt (Eds.); Human metabolism of alcohol, volume I: Pharmacokinetics, medicolegal aspects and general interest; CRC Press (1989), 214p. Both men and women were tested

White, Helen Raskin, Chen, Ping-Hsin; "Problem drinking and intimate partner violence", JOURNAL OF STUDIES ON ALCOHOL (2002) 63: 205-214. "Results. With controls, problem drinking significantly predicated perpetration and victimization for men and women. Partner drinking was not related to perpetration or victimization for men. For women, partner drinking was strongly related to perpetration and victimization. It fully mediated the effects of problem drinking on perpetration, but did not mediate these effects on victimization. Relationship dissatisfaction fully mediated the effects of problem drinking on male and female perpetration and partially mediated the effects of problem drinking on female victimization. Conclusions: The relationship between problem drinking and IPV was not spurious for men or women. Heavier drinking by partners put women at greater risk for perpetration and victimization and mediated the effects of their own problem drinking on perpetration. Programs that prevent and treat problem drinking among young men should have a beneficial impact on reducing IPV.

"Women and Alcohol: An Update", Volume 26, Number 4, 2002, ALCOHOL HEALTH AND RESEARCH WORLD

"Women drinkers at greater heart disease risk," About.com, January 29, 2004. A study by the University College London found that women who drank more than the recommended safe limit increased their risk of coronary hear disease by 57 percent. Overall death rates were seven times higher among women who drank two or more drinks per day than in those who drank less than three drinks a wee, the study found. Women have lower levels of alcohol dehydrogenase, the enzyme that breaks down alcohol and in combination with a smaller stature and lower body water content, means that women get drunk faster and stay drunk longer which increases the health risks associated with alcohol.

York, James L.; Welte, John, Hirsch, Judith; Hoffman, Joseph H.; Barnes, Grace; "Association of age of first drink with current alcohol drinking variables in a national general population sample". ALCOHOLISM: CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH (2004), 28 (9): 1379-1387. Conclusions: Age of first drink may be a useful predictive variable for some current drinking measures, including predicted peek blood alcohol levels as well as lifetime alcohol pathology. Further support was provided for the "convergence" hypothesis that the drinking habits of women have become more like those of men.

Zawacki, Tina; Norris, Jeanette; George William H.; Abbey, Antonia; Martell, Joel; Stoner, Susan A.; Davis, Kelly Cue; Buck, Philip O.; Masters, N. Tatiana, McAuslan, Pamela; Beshears, Renee; Parkhill, Michele R.; Clinton-Sherrod, A. Monique; "Explicating alcohol's role in acquaintance sexual assault: complementary perspectives an convergent findings", ALCOHOLISM AND CLINICAL EXPERIENCES IN RESEARCH (2005), 29 (2): 263-269. This article summarizes the proceedings of a symposium presented at the 2004 meeting of the Research Society on Alcoholism (RSA) in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Jeanette Norris, found that alcohol consumption and preexisting alcohol expectancies affect women's hypothetical response to a vignette depicting acquaintance sexual aggression. The Norris experiment showed (1) that acute intoxication causes women to respond cognitively and behaviorally to a potential assault in ways that increase the likelihood of being victimized and (2) that this effect is moderated by women's preexisting alcohol expectancies.

Joel Martell, reported that alcohol-induced impairment of executive cognitive functioning mediated the effect of intoxication on men's perceptions of a sexual assault vignette. Antonia Abbey found that the experiences of women whose sexual assault involved intoxication or force were more negative than were the experiences of women's whose sexual assault involved verbal coercion. Martell's Study showed not only that intoxication increases men's self-reported likelihood of committing rape but also that this effect is partially mediated by the alcohol's impairment of executive cognitive functioning capacity.

Tina Zawacki, reported that men who perpetrated sexual assault only in adolescence differed from men who continued perpetration into adulthood in terms of their drinking patterns and attitudes toward women. Zawacki's survey substantiated that unacknowledged perpetrators lurk among normative young adult populations and demonstrated that there are developmental trajectories for their perpetration that involve different patters of alcohol consumption. For instance, young men may drink and encourage a woman's drinking on the basis of alcohol expectancies that subsequently steer attention myopically toward the rape-prone foci as intoxication rises, ensnaring both people in an unfortunate trajectory.

updated 01/17/17