The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) recently found that women are binge drinking more than men for the first time in history. Dr. George Koop, Director of the NIAAA, stated in an interview that college-age women are binge drinking more than their male counterparts, a phenomenon never seen before.
Binge drinking is considered consuming four or more drinks in one sitting for women, and five or more drinks for men.
"In 2021, there has been an uptick [in binge drinking], particularly among women," Dr. George Koop said according to the Daily Mail. "Now, it turns out on college campuses women are actually binge drinking more than men, for the first time in history."
In 2019, there was a noticeable dip in the number of college students who reported binge drinking, in 2019, the latest data available, the Daily Mail writes "about 11.8 percent of women were binge drinking monthly and 10.4 percent of men." This is about a 20 percent decrease from 2015 when 40 percent of college students reported binge drinking at least once a month.
The Daily Mail notes that this drop could be due to improved public health messaging surrounding underage and binge drinking; however, there could be other explanations to consider. Though the 2020 data isn’t available yet, many expect the number of binge drinking incidents among young people to decrease significantly, given that bars, schools, and many restaurants closed down for months at a time.
Dr. Koop also raised concerns over this year's spring break — which began yesterday for many schools and noted that new drinking trends could spell carnage. The current drinking fad among college-aged individuals is called the BORG, which stands for Blackout Rage Gallon. Drinkers will take a gallon of water, empty out half, fill the remaining space with liquor, typically vodka, and add in powdered or liquid electrolytes. This new trend has exploded on TikTok and has resulted in an increase in the number of alcohol-related hospitalizations among young people. Videos of BORGs have amassed millions of views, quickly becoming the next deadly trend.
Women are naturally at a higher risk than men for several chronic illnesses linked to frequent alcohol usage. This is typically due to women's lower weight, but another factor is the amount of water a woman’s body contains compared to men. Women have less water in their bodies, which, according to the NIH means that "after a woman and a man of the same weight drink the same amount of alcohol, the woman’s blood alcohol concentration . . . will tend to be higher, putting her at greater risk for harm." The illnesses most often associated with alcohol use are liver damage or failure, heart disease, and brain damage. Numerous negative effects can be felt immediately after over drinking, and women are more likely than men to experience these side effects as well.
So, why? Why are young women now drinking more than men their age?
Dr. Koop’s assessment of the phenomenon didn’t quite illustrate why women feel the need to binge drink, but I can think of a possible explanation.Modern feminism has encouraged women to abandon the "patriarchal" duties of housewife, mother, or homemaker. Instead, messaging to young women encourages them to pursue a career, travel, go out and embrace "hookup culture," because it is "empowering" to have the ability to do everything a man can do.
As an example, this is one of the main explanations offered by (the honest) abortion advocates: women need to have the right and ability to walk away from motherhood following an unplanned pregnancy in the same manner that men can in order to be truly equal.
The messaging surrounding "equality" is what has caused so many young girls to be treated like men from a young age. They are asked where they want to go to college, and how they plan to provide for themselves — but never when they want to start a family.
Women are not men. Ignoring traditional gender roles during the upbringing of children not only holds consequences for the individual but results in societal chaos and downfall. This results in the dismal marriage rates we see today, the declining birth rate, the number of mental illness diagnoses increasing, and a general feeling of unfulfillment and loneliness to abound.
Because college students are told, "This is it, this is the peak, it's all downhill from here. Maybe you'll get a job, maybe get married to a ball and chain, but once you have kids, you're life is over." That is the message causing young people to go on these binge-drinking escapades and act as if the future doesn’t exist.
If we taught young girls that it is good to be different from boys, it is good to want to be in the home and raise a family, if we stepped away from "boss babe" societal standards, maybe we could see the bigger picture. Women are worth more than the current culture will admit, and they have so much more to offer the world than being the life of the party.
This column was originally published at TPUSALIVE.com.