Marriage Makes Women Drink More – Men Less


Do you want to make your girlfriend drink more alcohol? How would you like to have your boyfriend cut down on his booze intake? The answer to both may be as simple as getting married. According to Corrine Reczek, assistant professor at the University of Cincinnati, at a recent annual meeting of the American Sociological Society, statistically, those are the outcomes from tying the marriage knot.
In a study of over 10,000 people in Wisconsin, Reczek discovered a number of relationship factors affect the amount of liquor people quaff. The highest incidence of alcohol consumption, for example, is in the “recently divorced male” grouping which should come as no shock to anyone. There were few eyebrows raised over the fact that newly married men tend to drink less than they did when they were single, either. The biggest surprise, however, was in the increase in liquor tippling in the married women group. Statistically, that group consumed more vodka coolers and appletinis than either their single or divorced female cohorts.
“Our qualitative results suggest this occurs because men introduce and prompt women’s drinking, and because divorced women lose the influence of men’s alcohol use upon dissolution,” claimed the researcher. “Additionally, our survey results show that continuously married men drink less than men in all other marital status groups, especially recently divorced men.”
Sociologists have long suspected the decrease in married men’s alcohol use may be a contributing factor in the statistical reality that married men live significantly longer than their single counterparts. (And no, fellas, it’s not that it just seems longer). Women, on the other hand, derive no similar benefit from getting hitched. The increase in alcohol consumption may be a factor.
It is fascinating that the male group that drank the least was the continuously married men while the continuously married wives accounted for the highest rate of liquor use.
It was also quite interesting to the researchers that the highest consuming group was newly divorced men, yet newly divorced women’s drinking rates dropped significantly. Some researchers speculate that drinking may be a causal factor in the break ups in relationships where the men don’t reduce their consumption closer to the female rate. They speculate the females are just drinking to “fit in” with their men and no longer wish to use alcohol when freed from the relationship. They didn’t bring up the possibility it helps to drink to stay sane when you live with a man.
So, if a guy has two wives, does he tend to drink even less? Or way more? The study didn’t go quite that far.
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