Binge Drinking: The not so sobering reality for women

Girl power is awesome. As the Spice Girls would say, “Just girl power is all we need.” However, while it is great that women in the “girl power” spirit want to master every activity they can, which they manage to do most effortlessly most of the time, reality is that certain undertakings are just best left to men. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported on Jan. 8 that although twice as many men as women binge drink, the consequences for women are strikingly uglier.

According to the report, one in eight women and one in five high school girls currently consume six alcoholic beverages in one sitting roughly three times a month, increasing their chances of heart disease, unintended pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, injuries and breast cancer. In fact, it is believed by the American Cancer Society that even women who consume one alcoholic drink a day have an increased risk of developing breast cancer. The question remains: why are the consequences of drinking, specifically binge drinking, so much more harmful to women? Why are the drawbacks so much fouler for them?

“Women tend to be smaller and are therefore more susceptible to the harms of alcohol at lower levels of drinking,” said CDC Director Thomas Friedman in a conference call after the organization released its report.  A binge drinking session is estimated for women at four drinks; for men, at five.

In her documentary project, Keg Stand Queens, photographer Amanda Berg argues that women often binge drink to keep up with men. They binge drink in that quintessential “girl power” spirit.  So girls, maybe next time you go out, even to the Mods where drinks are so graciously made free, you will think twice before taking that fourth shot of Rubinoff. Maybe you will redefine “girl power” from having the stamina to binge drink to having the self-control to drink casually. Maybe even if you go to CitySide where drinks are so ungraciously made expensive, you will leave your WineRack behind (much to the chagrin of Kathie Lee Gifford):

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