Alcoholism has usually been seen as a male driven mental health disorder. Indeed, for years, males have lead the diagnoses for alcoholism. Alcohol as an industry is typically male-focused. Alcohol is sold as a commodity to give males character, confidence, status, and an ability to woo women.
Even the first widely recognized text on alcoholism created by the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous, called The Big Book leaves women out. The authors, both males, include a chapter titled For Women that primarily focuses on the role of the wife in a relationship with an alcoholic husband. One brief paragraph in a chapter titled “More About Alcoholism” describes the character of the female alcoholic in comparison to a male: “Potential female alcoholics often turn into the real thing and are gone beyond recall in a few years. Certain drinkers, who would be greatly insulted if called alcoholics, are astonished at their inability to stop.”
The world famous book was written by men for men, since those were the only alcoholics of concern. Until recently, the gender gap between males and females was broad in alcoholism. Problematically, due to the gendered stereotype of alcoholism, many females’ drinking problems have been trivialized to the point of avoiding treatment. Livesicence.com reports that the gap is closing between male and female alcoholism.
Especially for women born within the last 15-25 years, the website reports, statistics from around the world are indicating a rise in female alcoholism. The studies used to compile the data were not intended to reveal that either gender is drinking more or less alcohol than the other leading to the closing of the gap. Instead, the website notes, the results reveal a greater use of alcohol among women. Women are drinking more than they have before.
For what reasons women are using alcohol more is for another study. Female drinking has become popularized in the media with stories like the movie Trainwreck celebrating mild forms of female alcoholism.
Women are in need of treatment for alcoholism as badly as men are. Continuing to fight the stigma of alcoholism must continue to include fighting gender stereotyping of drinking.
Refuge Recovery welcomes both men and women in need of treatment for overcoming their attachment to alcoholism. We provide detox services, inpatient residential treatment, and transitional living, as well as other levels of care. Call or text us today for more information 323-207-0276.