Gender Differences in Attitudes to Alcohol Use Term Paper

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Gender Differences in Attitudes to Alcohol Use

Alcohol use is virtually as old as mankind, and billions of people around the world enjoy the conviviality and relaxation that are associated with drinking. There have also been some proven medical benefits associated with moderate alcohol consumption. In many cases, though, the casual and social use of alcohol leads to its abuse, and the enormous adverse effects of alcoholism on Western societies have been well-documented time and again. Furthermore, dependence and abuse is highest among young adults aged 17 to 29 years which can lead to profound health and psychosocial problems later in life. While the research into the causes and effects of alcohol use and abuse continue, the fact remains that there are some important differences in how the practice is viewed by men and women that can provide some valuable insights into developing effective interventions in the future. To this end, this study examines the current research to identify what factors contribute to a higher incidence of alcohol use and abuse in general and among younger drinkers in particular. A critical review of the peer-reviewed and scholarly literature is followed by an analysis of a survey instrument administered to 30 volunteer respondents from the United Kingdom (n=16 females; 14 males) who attend a university located in a coastal city in England. Salient findings and recommendations are provided in the concluding chapter.

Chapter 1: Introduction

Statement of the Problem

Purpose of Study

Rationale of StudyDownload full Download Microsoft Word File
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Overview of Study

Chapter 2: Review of Related Literature

Chapter 3: Methodology

Chapter 4: Data Analysis

Chapter 5: Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations

An Analysis of Gender Differences in Attitudes Related to Alcohol Use in the United Kingdom Today

Chapter 1: Introduction

TOPIC: Term Paper on Gender Differences in Attitudes to Alcohol Use Assignment

Despite its increasingly negative reputation among clinicians, the use of alcohol plays an important role in many social activities, ranging from the "business lunch" and parties to special occasions. The potential benefits of alcohol consumption during such social occasions are heavily influenced by culture, the setting in which drinking occurs, and expectations about alcohol's effects (Leigh & Stacey, 1991). In this regard, there have been commonly reported results of stress reduction, mood elevation, increased sociability, and relaxation associated with drinking alcohol; however, when alcohol consumption transcends these social settings, it can create some of the most profound problems facing modern societies. In fact, substance abuse in general and alcohol abuse in particular represent some of the most challenging problems facing Western society in the 21st century. The incidence of substance use and abuse is staggering, and alcohol consumption is becoming increasingly commonplace, even among very young people (Briggs, Love & Mcveity, 2000).

Statement of the Problem

The use and abuse of alcohol has been a problem for mankind since time immemorial, but today, alcohol abuse by young people in the United Kingdom has assumed critical levels in some regions, and the problem appears to be getting worse. The consequences of alcohol abuse are well-known but do not seem to dissuade current and potential drinkers from indulging to excess; however, the association between alcohol abuse and acute and chronic health problems, vehicle-related injuries and deaths, poor work performance and attendance, psychosocial maladjustment, and involvement in criminal activity has been shown by study after study in the past (Ammerman, Ott & Tarter, 1999). Furthermore, the societal costs associated with alcohol abuse are enormous, and include additional costs for the national health care system, additional law enforcement, an increased presence of the criminal justice system, and lost economic efficiency (Ammerman et al., 1999). Excessive alcohol consumption can also have a wide range of adverse health effects (Chaloupka, Grossman, & Saffer, 2002). Indeed, among young people, long-term heavy alcohol use has been identified as an important risk factor for stroke (You, McNeil, O'Malley, Davis, Thrift & Donnan, 1997). Very recent alcohol drinking, particularly drinking to intoxication, has been also been linked with a significant increase in the risk of ischemic stroke in both men and women aged 16 through 40 years (Health risks and benefits of alcohol consumption, 2000).

These patterns of alcohol abuse generally develop during adolescence; unfortunately, a significant percentage of these adolescents will develop serious problems with drugs and alcohol throughout their adulthood. According to Ammerman and his colleagues, "As with many social ills, treatment of affected individuals is expensive and has a limited rate of success" (p. 3). Therefore, it has been widely recognized that the most effective approach to decreasing alcohol abuse is prevention; by preventing the full-blown incidence of alcoholism later in life, scarce resources can be allocated to treatment and other forms of intervention such as law enforcement (Ammerman et al., 1999). This point is also made by Chaloupka, Grossman, and Saffer (2002) who report that fatal motor vehicle accidents remain the leading cause of death of people under the age of 35 years, with alcohol being involved in more than one-half of these fatal crashes. In fact, fatalities per car miles of travel of people between the ages of 16 and 24 were more than twice as large as those of people ages 25 and over in 1995 (Dee & Evans, 2001). In addition, the abuse of and dependence on alcohol are highest among people between the ages of 18 and 29 (Chaloupka et al., 2002). Finally, targeting younger people for such educational interventions has assumed increasing importance today because alcohol abuse in adolescence appears to be associated with alcohol abuse in later life; as a result, governmental policies designed to reduce alcohol abuse by younger people could represent the most effective approach to reduce its incidence in all segments of the population (Chaloupka et al., 2002). In particular, the use and abuse of alcohol by university students has emerged in recent years as a matter of great concern (Cox, Inderhaug, King, Klinger, Man, Schippers, Skutle, & Stuchlikova, 2002). In fact, many college students drink excessive quantities of alcohol and their common pattern of heavy episodic drinking can result in severe negative outcomes. As a result, it has become increasingly important today to identify the factors that determine which students will drink problematically, and how these factors might place them at risk for greater drinking problems in the future (Cox et al., 2002).

Purpose of Study

The purpose of this study is to identify those gender-related differences that exist among a sampling of university students in the United Kingdom concerning alcohol use and abuse to determine if these findings can be integrated into a best practices approach to intervention and educational initiatives.

Rationale for the Study

The examination of the particular lifestyle characteristics of people who consume either no alcohol or varying amounts of alcohol can provide researchers with other factors that might account for different health outcomes; for instance, gender, age, education, physical fitness, diet, and social involvement are among the factors that may be taken into account in determining relative risk of disease (Health Risks and Benefits of Alcohol Consumption, 2000).

Overview of Study

To develop as much insight into the perplexing issues surrounding alcohol use and abuse, this study employed a hybrid methodology comprised of a critical review of the peer-reviewed and scholarly literature in Chapter 2 followed a more detailed explanation of the study methodology in Chapter 3. A survey of a sample of university students in the United Kingdom who agreed to participate in this research by completing the survey instrument at Appendix A is examined in Chapter 4 and the results of these surveys were analyzed using SPSS 11.0 (Student Version), and the findings interpolated through a series of trended graphs and narrative interpretations. The concluding chapter provides a summary of the research, conclusions that can be drawn, and relevant recommendations.

Chapter 2: Review of Related Literature

Background and Overview.

According to Anderson, Bjarnason, Choquet, Elekes, Morgan, and Rapinett (2003), alcohol abuse can result in serious short-term and long-term health risks and is an accurate predictor of future problem drinking and drug use. Furthermore, alcohol abuse has been associated with a wide range of other negative behavioral consequences, including accidents, violent behavior and victimization and suicidal tendencies, as well as earlier sexual encounters and an increased incidence of unprotected sex (Anderson et al., 2003)). Furthermore, frequent and heavy alcohol by young people has been associated with personal problems with family, friends, employers, school authorities and law enforcement authorities (Anderson et al., 2003). While the likelihood of casual or social drinking evolving into problem drinking may in part be attributable to various biological and genetic factors, such problematic behavioral patterns are developed within in a multilevel social context, ranging from interpersonal relationships to societal-level structural constraints and cultural traditions (Anderson et al., 2003).

Gender Differences in the Perception of Alcohol Use.

There are some profound differences in how alcohol use is perceived by men and women today, but these views have some important basis in European history. According to Martin (2001):

Given the connection between drink and sexual activity and a similar connection between drink and unruly behavior, the patriarchal constraints on the consumption of alcohol… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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