Men are still more likely than women to drink excessively. Excessive drinking is associated with various types of risk-taking behavior due to the lack of inhibitions alcohol causes, and the risk increases as the amount of drinking increases. Men are also more likely than women to test the limits with actions such as speeding while driving when combined with heavy drinking, increasing their risk of injury or death.
Drinking levels for men
- Approximately 62% of adult men reported drinking alcohol in the last 30 days and were 2 times more likely to binge drink than women during the same time period.
Injuries and deaths as a result of excessive alcohol use
- Men consistently have higher rates of alcohol-related deaths and hospitalizations than women.
- Among drivers in fatal motor-vehicle traffic crashes, men are almost twice as likely as women to have been intoxicated (i.e., a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or greater).
- Excessive alcohol consumption increases aggression and, as a result, increases the risk of physically assaulting another person.
- Men are more likely than women to commit suicide, and more likely to have been drinking prior to committing suicide.
Reproductive Health and Sexual Function
Excessive alcohol use can interfere with male hormone production resulting in impotence, infertility, and reduction of other male sex characteristics, such as facial and chest hair.
Excessive alcohol use is commonly involved in sexual assaults. Impaired judgment caused by alcohol may worsen the tendency of some men to mistake a women’s friendly behavior for sexual interest and misjudge their use of force. Also, alcohol use by men increases the chances of engaging in risky sexual activity including unprotected sex, sex with multiple partners, or sex with a partner at risk for sexually transmitted diseases.
Heavy drinking increases the risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and liver.
The Standard Measure of Alcohol
In the U.S., a standard drink has about half an ounce (13.7 grams or 1.2 tablespoons) of pure alcohol. Generally, this amount of pure alcohol is found in:
- 12 ounces of regular beer or wine cooler
- 8 ounces of malt liquor
- 5 ounces of wine
- 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits or “liquor” (gin, rum, vodka, whiskey)
Levels and Patterns of Drinking
- Considered Heavy drinking
- For women, more than 1 drink per day on average.
- For men, more than 2 drinks per day on average.
- Considered Binge drinking
- For women, more than 3 drinks during a single occasion.
- For men, more than 4 drinks during a single occasion.
Excessive drinking – includes heavy drinking, binge drinking or both.
These statistics are from the Center for Disease Control, March 2008.