Two problem areas in life where statistics show that women are gaining equality with men are binge drinking and pornography. Common wisdom suggests that both of these areas are typically the domain of men. But no so. A recent study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that binge drinking among women is a growing problem.
In a study of almost 300,000 women, who were 18 years or older, they found that binge drinking was most common among women between the ages of 18 and 34. About 24% of women in this age group reported binge drinking over the past 30 days.
On average, binge drinkers report 3.2 instances per month with an average 0f 5.7 drinks consumed. For young women, age 18-24, the statistics are higher–3.6 instances a month, and an average of 6.4 drinks each time. Among high school age girls, nearly 40% reported trying alcohol, and nearly half of those reported binge drinking.
Men and women metabolize alcohol differently, but for both, alcohol has long-term health effects. For women, binge drinking has been associated with increased risk for breast cancer and heart disease. In addition, the CDC estimates that excessive alcohol use among women and girls may account for over 20,000 deaths annually.
Pornography, also typically thought of as dominated by men, shows the number of women involved is increasing as well. One out of three visitors to all pornographic web sites is a woman. While 20% of men admit to viewing pornography at work, 13% of women admit to accessing pornography at work. When you consider that secrecy is probably more important for a woman, the statistics could be pretty much the same. In 2006, 17% of woman admited to struggling with a pornography addiction.
Studies show that women, typically, are not as visually oriented to the opposite sex as men, and there is another form of pornography that strongly attracts them–reading sexually explicit romance novels. The three books in the Shades of Grey series, were for months the top three best-selling novels world-wide. Months after their release, two of them are still on the WSJ’s best sellers list. The series has been called “mommy porn,” for the primary audience drawn to these three books are married women in their 30’s. Teens and college-age women are not far behind. The books are explicit enough that some libraries have banned them.
In these two areas, there’s nothing to be gained for women by matching the destructive patterns of men. But our culture today seems to think otherwise–the lure is there and it is seductive. Be careful, ladies!
Question: What are some of the rationalizations you’ve heard regarding the use of pornography? Love to hear your comments!