Many middle-aged women tend to perceive their drinking as normal and acceptable

Many middle-aged women tend to perceive their drinking as normal and acceptable

The International Consortium Claims Medical Breakthrough in Malaria Research One respondent observed: "It has become part of the norm . . . it is something we do with our acquaintances, friends and families. That's just something we do" (D8, 59 years). "However, the importance of 'staying in control' while drinking emerged as an important qualifier to the social acceptability of drinking," Dr. Dare said. Another respondent said: "As long as they (women) don't make a fool of themselves, they don't want to go falling down and showing their knickers" (A9, 69 years). "Health messaging of no more than two standard drinks per day and no more than four standard drinks on any single drinking occasion didn't seem to be relevant to women in this age group. There was a fair percentage drinking over that," Dr. Dare said. "In Australia, younger women are starting to drink less, their rates have declined, but the proportion of women aged 60 and older drinking at levels that exceed single occasion guidelines (more than 4 standard drinks on a single occasion) has increased. Similar trends are evident in Denmark and the United Kingdom." Cultural differences While the study highlighted many similarities between Australian and Danish women, one interesting cultural difference was the way Australian women thought about alcohol in relation to stress. If the Australian women had some sort of distress in their lives they believed it was acceptable to drink. They were quite open about this saying 'I just had a bad day, I needed to have a drink'. Danish women were not the same. They reported it wasn't 'acceptable' to drink if they were upset. They believed that you shouldn't use alcohol as a crutch to cope." Dr. Julie Dare from ECU's School of Medical and Health Sciences Source: Edith Cowan University Journal reference: Dare, J., et al. (2019) “Women of my age tend to drink”: the social construction of alcohol use by Australian and Danish women aged 50–70 years. journal of Sociology of Health & Illness . doi.org/10.1111/1467-9566.12991 .



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