The term “drown your sorrows” has been around for a long, long time. Most men talk about drinking to make their partners appear more attractive, while most females tend to drink to forget their woes. Surprisingly, a recent study abolishes both premise
Lead author Valerie S. Harder and four of her colleagues explored the premise of how alcohol affects the different genders. Published in an Oxford Journal called Alcohol and Alcoholism, Alcohol, Moods and Male-Female Differences: Daily Interactive Voice Response over 6 Months revealed a scientific take on a topic that went mostly unexplored.
For most people, drinking offers several benefits including making another person appear attractive (so called “beer goggles”) or alleviating the hurt. Yet the results of Harder’s study revealed that a person’s motivations for drinking were anything but.
The study reveals that males are more prone to pour in drinks when they’re feeling angry. In fact, men who are angry are more likely to drink than those who are feeling mellow. Similarly, happiness and sadness do not trigger the habit for both genders.
Lead author Harder reports that “Some people say they want to use alcohol to improve their mood, and that’s not what we found happening. In fact, it works the other way: People report less happiness as they use more alcohol.” While both the male and female subjects felt less than stellar after a drinking binge, the down mood is more prominent in women.
The study took into consideration the insight of 246 participants comprised of 166 males and 80 females between 21 to 82 years of age. They were flagged by a physician as patients who may have drinking problems. All participants were enrolled in an alcohol treatment program in which Harder and her colleagues would phone every single day for six months to determine the patient’s drinking, mood, and stress levels.
While the study offered staggering insights into the drinking habits of people on the verge of becoming alcoholics, Harder and her group notes that the patients only report their moods once a day. This means that while they could’ve reported feeling happy when the call was made, they could’ve been down the rest of the day. Despite this limitation, the study clearly portray that stress could affect a person’s mood and drinking habits.
The study establishes that both genders drink booze regardless of feeling happy or sad. In line with this, a well-used advice through the years would serve as the perfect ending: too much of anything could be hazardous to your health, so drink in moderation. That being said, bottoms up!