Women and Alcohol: Know the Dangers

Men and women, though more equal than they have ever been, still have some sharp differences. One of these differences is the effect that alcohol has on their bodies and well-being.
 
Women, because of their higher metabolisms and lower bodily water concentrations, become intoxicated quicker than men. The same amount of alcohol will affect a woman more. This also results in quicker liver damage and heart disease. But that's not all.
 
The Victimizing Results of Booze
A recent survey among female college students shows a direct correlation between alcohol intake and sexual assault. Alcohol can lower one's awareness and reaction times, so women who have consumed alcohol are more likely than nondrinking women to be the victims of dating violence.
 
Other Dangers
Couples who drink heavily before marriage tend to experience aggression in their first year of marriage. Also, moderate to heavy drinking among women heightens the risk of breast cancer. Additonally, women are more vulnerable when it comes to brain damage as a result of drinking.
 
The Factors of Risk
Alcohol can become a problem with women. Studies show that 40 percent of women who started drinking early, before age 15, become dependent on alcohol some time in their lives. Rates of dependence drop to 10 percent for those who started after age 20. This is one way, however, that women and men are similar when it comes to alcohol: the rate among men is pretty much the same.
 
Where women and men drink at the same rate, women are at the higher risk for liver, brain, and heart damage. This is due not only to metabolism but also to gender-related differences in brain chemistry.
 
Avoiding Danger
The best way to avoid danger when drinking, of course, is to avoid drinking altogether. This eliminates greatly the risk for assault and victimization. Keeping your senses about you if you are in social settings is always recommended, and being sober is a great way to do that. If one chooses to drink, however, she should be aware of who is around her and that she is with friends. One should never let her drink out of sight, especially in a bar.
 
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