What drives men and women to the bar?
It’s popular belief that emotions can influence our drinking habits but what is less well known is the fact that alcohol affects men and women differently.
According to a new study, gender may sway the sentiments that compel heavy boozers to hit the bottle.
The study found neither men nor the fairer sex who drank excessively did so to soak in their sorrows.
The study was designed to assess the link between people’s moods and drinking habits. It involved 246 study subjects (166 men and 80 women), who had been identified by a doctor of having a possible drinking problem.
The participants’ in the age bracket of 21to 82 years underwent an alcohol treatment program. As a part of the trial, they were asked to report their moods, stress level and drinking habits for the next six months on a daily basis.
It was noted that men who are angry tend to find solace in drinking. The study found livid men were more inclined to turn to liquor the next day compared to those that were not annoyed.
The investigators delved into two other emotions, namely happiness and sadness. The study found neither sentiment had any significant impact on the drinking habits of men or women.
“Some people say they want to use alcohol to improve their mood, and that’s not what we found happening,” said Valerie S Harder, lead author of the study from the University of Vermont.
Experts also focused on how drinking impacted the participants’ moods. Contrary to expectations that liquor would curb anger or sadness and make subjects happier the next day, the analysis revealed the exact opposite.
It was noted that both the sexes reportedly felt less elated the day after drinking, but the effect was more pronounced among women.
“In fact, it works the other way: People report less happiness as they use more alcohol,” said Harder.
Experts theorize that that stress can alter an individual’s mood and alcohol dependence.
The study is published in June in the journal Alcohol and Alcoholism.