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Media Stigmatizes Female Binge Drinkers

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Are female drinkers still socially unacceptable? A study finds that women who binge drink are portrayed more negatively by the media than men who do the same. A study sheds light on the same and examined how the media reports women’s and men’s drinking habits.

According to researchers from the University of Glasgow and Glasgow Caledonian University, newspaper coverage misrepresents the fact that binge-drinking remains a predominantly male activity. They analyzed 308 articles published over two years in seven British national newspapers. The findings indicate that women’s binge drinking was given more coverage, despite men drinking more in reality.

It also found that as well as misrepresenting differences in the amount each gender drinks, articles depicted women’s and men’s binge drinking in different ways.

“Media coverage of women’s binge drinking isn’t just about health or public disorder; it also performs a moralizing, paternalistic role, reflecting broader social expectations about women’s public behaviour,” said experts from the University of Glasgow in the Scotland.


Patterson C., Emslie C. and Mason O., 2016, “Content analysis of UK newspaper and online news representations of women's and men's' binge'drinking: a challenge for communicating evidence-based messages about single-episodic drinking?,” BMJ OPEN 6(12): e013124. [Web Reference]

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