University Women: Gender Parity in Underage Drinking

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Binge or heavy episodic drinking (HED) – defined as four or more drinks in a two-hour period – among U.S. university women has increased by 40 percent during the past 30 years. This dramatic development suggests that women are “closing the gender gap” by drinking at rates similar to those of men. Feminine norms – beliefs and expectations about what it means to be a woman – may play a role in altering drinking patterns among this group. This study examined trajectories of HED among young adult women and the gender-relevant factors that may predict these trajectories.

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