Structural sexism and Women's alcohol use in the United States, 1988–2016

By Sarah McKetta, Seth J. Prins, Deborah Hasin, Megan E. Patrick, Katherine M. Keyes in Class conflict and public health

April 1, 2022


April 1, 2022


12:00 AM


Background Women’s alcohol consumption and binge drinking have increased concurrent with socio-economic gains and may be related to structural sexism. Methods We examined associations between structural sexism (state-level sex inequality in political/economic status), and alcohol outcomes among women in Monitoring the Future (N = 20,859) from 1988 to 2016 (ages 27–45 in 2016). We controlled for state and individual confounders and tested three mediators: depressive symptoms, restrictive alcohol norms, and college completion. Results Increased structural sexism was associated with decreased alcohol consumption frequency (RR: 0.974, 95% CI: 0.971, 0.976) and binge drinking probability (OR: 0.917, 95% CI: 0.909, 0.926). Norms and education but not depressive symptoms partially mediated these relationships. Conclusion Among women in the midlife in recent years, lower levels of state structural sexism were associated with greater alcohol consumption and binge drinking. These findings suggest that as states become more gender-equal—which confer numerous benefits for women’s rights and health—additional resources and messaging may be required to prevent harmful alcohol use among women.

Posted on:
April 1, 2022
1 minute read, 165 words
Class conflict and public health
See Also: