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Marriage Means More Drinking for Women, Less for Men

Alcohol lubricates the wheels of many a marriage

Alcohol lubricates the wheels of many a marriage

A study presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Assn. last weekend found that married women drink more than divorced women, but married men drink less than divorced men, ABC News reports.

In fact, several women in the study said they did not drink alcohol at all until they met or married their husbands.

Researchers at the University of Cincinnati examined data collected from surveys of a random sample of 5,000 Wisconsin high school graduates of the class of 1957, who were each contacted four times over a 47-year period. Lead researcher Corinne Reczek, assistant professor of sociology, and her team then conducted in-depth interviews with 120 of the original study's sample to determine why their drinking habits changed.

Given the long time frame of the study, there were too few people who remained single for the whole time period to compare them directly to those who were married. Instead, the researchers examined the drinking habits of those whose marriages had ended and compared them to those who had stayed married.

Sociological and psychological experts attribute the findings to the fact that individual behaviors tend to adjust in order to match those of people with whom they spend a great deal of time. Since single men tend to drink more than their single female counterparts, the idea is that both sides converge toward an average level of drinking. Thus, husbands drink a bit less and wives drink a bit more than their unmarried peers.

But could the findings, perhaps, suggest something more?

"The study findings appear to suggest that everyone's alcohol use is, to some degree, related to the extent of stress in their lives," Don R. Catherall, professor of clinical psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern University, told ABC. Studies have long shown that women derive less stress relief from being married than men do, who tend to experience their wives as sources of tension reduction.

And divorce causes men to drink more, while divorced women tend to go back to drinking less.

It couldn't have anything to do with women living lives of quiet desperation married to big dumb lugs and chasing snotty little brats around while secretly yearning for this and watching their youthful good looks slowly fade away, could it?

Please get us another cocktail, Honey.


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