Alcohol and Gender

Millions of dollars are spent on alcohol advertisements yearly!  Of course we all love the “most interesting man in the world” commercials.

It’s amazing what Dos Equis beer can do for a man!  Commercials that are selling alcohol to women are still sexual in nature and appealing to most men.

Of course we all know that drinking alcohol does not makes us nearly as cool as the most interesting man in the world or nearly as sexy as the lady drinking the “whipped” vodka.  The first couple of drinks may make us more sociable, make us feel a lot more confident, and maybe feel more attractive.  However, we also know there is a fine line between having a couple of drinks and having a nice buzz compared to being wasted, blacking out, and doing things that you either later regret or never even recall doing.  Most commercials don’t display the downside to being intoxicated.  But it can happen to both men and women, we begin to slur, we become sloppy, annoying, do or say stupid stuff, and piss others off. 

So maybe the ad sells you on the alcohol or not, or maybe you just choose to drink because it’s socially acceptable, time to relax, cut loose the weekends here, or whatever your reason is.  Alcohol effects men and women differently, even if they are the same age, height, and weight.   I love a woman who thinks she can drinks as much as a man; I myself have been guilty of this, claiming I can keep up with the boys.  Women are affected by alcohol more rapidly because we have more body fat!  (yea, so we can have a baby one day!)  Fat cannot absorb alcohol, so it is concentrated at higher levels in the blood.  Women also have less enzymes in our stomach that metabolizes or break down alcohol before it enters the bloodstream.  Because of this women absorb 30% more alcohol into their bloodstream compared to a male who is of equal weight and height (Hanson, 2012).

Manly drinks vs. girly drinks!  Beer, the easy go to for most men.  Beer and football they go hand in hand.  More manly drinks consist of whiskey, scotch, and bourbon; these types of liquor or severed either straight up or on the rocks, maybe mixed with a little splash of water or soda.  All pretty simple and basic one or two ingredients involved.  Girly drinks on the other hand are a different story.   For example, a cosmo AKA cosmopolitan consist of vodka, triple-sec, cranberry juice, and freeze lime shaken and then strained into a martini glass.  Another popular one is the mojito which starts with muddling lime, mint, and simple sugar (which has to be made), then spiced rum, soda water, shake and served over ice.  Men, consider yourself lucky if you have a women who prefers your typical beer over these girls drinks!

Alcopops AKA (malternatives RTD ready to drink or FABs flavored alcohol beverages)  they are fruit flavored, malt based, colorful and sweet in flavor to hide the taste of alcohol.  Popular brands are Smirnoff Ice, Skyy Blue, Bacardi Silver, and Mikes Hard Lemonade.  Alcopops appeal to women and underage drinkers.  They are advertised as low alcohol refreshers but the drinks typically contain 5-7% alcohol by volume which is more then most beers (AlcoholpolicyMD.com)

Men, traditionally have been at greater risk for alcoholism than women, but women are being to catch up.     The culture has shifted and it is now more socially acceptable for females to drink.  White employed women are drinking more, social stigmas are fading away and women are not ashamed about drinking and getting drunk (Taylor, 2012).  Men who abuse alcohol are more likely to enter an alcohol treatment program, whereas women are more inclined to seek help from their primary care practitioner and mental health counselors.  But both genders are equally capable of recovery (Hanson, 2011).

Binge drinking is a big issue within colleges and for underage drinkers.  The rate of female bingers are rising; the rate doubled from 1993 to 2001 for females while the rate has stayed about the same for males (Taylor, 2012).  Commercials that try to raise awareness about the issue, typically portray the female as the victim and the male as the offender.  

Yes, the ad is targeting teens, but the same thing can (and does) happen at college parties.  It is unfair to stereotype the genders, both genders can be equally guilty as well as responsible for drinking to much, and engaging in behaviors that one would otherwise not do so.  Females are just as capable as males to be the offender and take advantage of others.

A couple interesting stats: http://www.georgiahealth.edu/shs/sexualhealth/sexalcohol.html 

DUIs in Virginia 2011 Males: 22,694   Females: 7,164

http://www.flickr.com/photos/paguma/6332387031/

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About brynn711

I am new to the world of "blogging." However, it does seem pretty entertaining and educational at the same time
Aside | This entry was posted in Advertizing / Marketing, Gendered Products, Risk. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Alcohol and Gender

  1. I was really surprised to learn that binge drinking has leveled off for men while it is rising for women. I assume that the rate is still higher for men, but what could be causing it to become more popular among women than in the past? It certainly seems there is a greater diversity in alcoholic products available for sale than previously, so maybe manufacturers are focusing more on delivering to a female demographic?

  2. brynn711 says:

    I think it is just more socially acceptable for women to drink as much as men. I do not think it is uncommon, especially for younger women to think that they can “keep up with the boys.” Since there are so many women drinking, it only seems right to advertise towards them. However, I believe the majority of the ads target the male audience.

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