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Thread: Smart Women Drink More

  1. #1
    Minister of Propagandhi Array ajblaise's Avatar
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    Aug 2008

    Default Smart Women Drink More

    Cleverest women are the heaviest drinkers

    Those with degrees are almost twice as likely to drink daily, and they are also more likely to admit to having a drinking problem.

    A similar link between educational attainment and alcohol consumption is seen among men, but the correlation is less strong.

    The findings come from a comprehensive study carried out at the London School of Economics in which researchers tracked the lives of thousands of 39-year-old women and men, all born in the UK during the same week in 1970.

    The report concludes: "The more educated women are, the more likely they are to drink alcohol on most days and to report having problems due to their drinking patterns.

    "The better-educated appear to be the ones who engage the most in problematic patterns of alcohol consumption."

    Women's alcohol consumption can even be predicted from their scores in school tests taken when they are as as young as five.

    Women who achieved "medium" or "high" test marks as schoolgirls are up to 2.1 times more likely to drink daily as adults.

    The authors of the report, Francesca Borgonovi and Maria Huerta, suggest several possible explanations as to why better-educated women drink more.

    They tend to have children later, postponing the responsibilities of parenthood. They may have more active social lives or work in male-dominated workplaces with a drinking culture.

    As girls, they may have grown up in middle-class families and seen their parents drink regularly.

    In the long-term study, the LSE team followed all the people born in Britain during one week in 1970, asking them questions about their lifestyle at regular periods throughout their lives.

    The number of people for whom information was available has varied over the course of the research between 9,665 and 17,287.

    The researchers took account of each individual's school test results and level of academic attainment, as well as their answers to regularly-administered surveys in which they were asked questions such as "Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking?" and "Have you ever had a drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or get rid of a hangover?"

    Women with some educational qualifications were 71 per cent more likely to drink on most days compared to women with no qualifications. Women with degree-level qualifications were 86 per cent more likely to do so.

    Higher educated women were 1.7 times more likely to have a drinking problem, as assessed through their questionnaire answers, than their less-well-educated counterparts.

    Women who scored highly in tests while at school were also at greater risk of having drinking problems.

    Whereas women with medium or high childhood test scores were up to 2.1 times more likely to have a drink most days, men who scored similarly-high scores were only 49 per cent more likely to do so.

    "Both males and females who achieved high-level performance in test scores administered at ages five and 10 are significantly more likely to abuse alcohol than individuals who performed poorly on those tests," says the report, in the journal Social Science and Medicine.

    According to the study, a substantial part of the educational effect is likely to be due to better-educated women having more opportunities and tending to have middle-class lifestyles, exposing them to circumstances that favour alcohol consumption.

    "Reasons for the positive association of education and drinking behaviours may include: a more intensive social life that encourages alcohol intake; a greater engagement into traditionally male spheres of life, a greater social acceptability of alcohol use and abuse; more exposure to alcohol use during formative years; and greater postponement of childbearing and its responsibilities among the better educated," says the report.

    Commenting on the findings, a spokesman for the Alcohol Concern charity said: "This raises concerns which need to be addressed.

    "People with higher qualifications have more disposable income, and we have seen a trend where there has been an increase in the marketing of wine, particularly aimed at working women.

    "People who abuse alcohol face a higher risk of suffering from health problems incluidng cancer, liver cirrhosis, lung and cardiovascular disease, and mental and behavioural issues."
    Cleverest women are the heaviest drinkers - Telegraph

  2. #2
    mrs Array disregard's Avatar
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    Apr 2007


    Educational Attainment != Intelligence

    More like financial opportunity.

    Therefore, there is no correlation between intelligence and drinking (which I do not partake in and is perhaps why I felt compelled to chime in).

  3. #3
    Habitual Fi LineStepper Array JocktheMotie's Avatar
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    Nov 2008


    This is pretty surprising to be honest. I've always kind of considered the whole "celebration of being and desire to get drunk" mentality as indicative of being a couple steps down the ladder in terms of mental faculties [or at the least, priorities] but this suggests otherwise.

    Maybe it's a coping mechanism of a higher stress and competitive environment? Don't know if I buy some of their possible explanations. The "higher educated females are more likely to be in male dominated, and thus drinking, environments" one makes a bit of sense.

  4. #4
    Controlled Mischief Array StephMC's Avatar
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    Mar 2009
    9w8 sp/sx


    This explains everything.
    I have an inner monologue that sounds strikingly similar to something off Animal Planet.

  5. #5
    Was E.laur Array Laurie's Avatar
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    Jan 2009


    I better up my drinking so I can be smarter. Oh wait, that's not how it works?

    I agree with Jock, it surprises me too.

  6. #6
    insert random title here Array Randomnity's Avatar
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    May 2007
    6w5 sp/sx


    I'm surprised to hear that middle-class people are more likely to drink alcohol. I'd had the impression that alcohol use and abuse were fairly constant across socioeconomic classes, or if anything, somewhat more common in lower income areas.

    A factor they surprisingly didn't address is that higher-educated women are significantly more likely to be in a high stress job and also more likely to be more "intense" personalities who might not handle stress very well.
    -end of thread-

  7. #7


    well.. that is surprising.
    I think it has a lot do do with the amount of stress, and the environment they are surrounded in.

    Achievers usually have higher levels of stress.

    People seem to think that drinking decreases the amount of stress you have. I don't believe that. It's a social myth.
    Quote Originally Posted by disregard View Post
    Educational Attainment != Intelligence
    I agree.

  8. #8
    #005645 Array phthalocyanine's Avatar
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    Jun 2009
    9w1 sx


    well, if you've got the extra brain cells to expend...

  9. #9
    From the Undertow Array CuriousFeeling's Avatar
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    Dec 2009
    4w5 sp/sx


    Correlation does not equal causation. There's definitely the other variables coming into play that influence the drinking problem, not someone's academic achievement. I think it's more of a social influence than a cognitive one.


    “Thoughts are the shadows of our feelings -- always darker, emptier and simpler.”
    ― Friedrich Nietzsche

  10. #10
    Geolectric Array teslashock's Avatar
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    Oct 2009


    When I first saw this thread, I thought it said "Start women drinking more", and I foresaw a desperate movement with the purpose of making it easier to get more women into the sack.

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