A recent study comparing the progression of alcohol addiction in men and women found that women progressed from reporting drinking problems to treatment four years earlier than men on average, according to Medical News Today
One of the study’s authors, Ben Lewis, was quoted as saying that alcohol addiction has historically been deemed a “male” disease because of how prevalent it is among men, but that more recently, researchers wondered whether women progressed more quickly through various stages of alcoholism than men. In other words, many researchers wondered whether women experienced a “telescoping” effect when it comes to alcohol addiction.
Do Women Really Experience a ‘Telescoping’ Effect?
While the study’s findings did not clearly point to a more rapid progression though the stages of alcoholism for women, it did reveal that women tended to seek treatment four to five years earlier than men. For example, it took a woman an average of 10 years to move from reporting problems with alcohol to seeking treatment while it took a man on average 15 years to make the same progression, the article explained.
The study did not reveal why women sought treatment earlier, but another of the study’s authors, Rosemary Fama, speculated that one reason might be that women don’t associate alcoholism with a social stigma as much as men do. In other words, women might be somewhat more disposed to admit alcohol is a problem in their lives and look for help.
What Else Did The Study Reveal?
Findings from the study also showed that men and women started drinking at around the same age (18 and 19, respectively) and that both started reporting problems with alcohol at around the same age (early 20s).
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