Alcohol is sexist. It treats men and women differently. And no law can stop alcohol from being sexist.
Actually, alcohol itself isn’t the problem. It’s our bodies that treat alcohol differently. Men and women are unequal when it comes to alcohol. It is we who are “sexist” regarding alcohol. Again, no law can change that fact.
Men and women of the very same height and weight treat alcohol differently. Other things equal, it takes less alcohol for women to become intoxicated. There are physiological reasons for this.
First, women have a higher proportion of body fat than men. Fat cannot absorb alcohol. So alcohol is concentrated at higher levels in their blood.
Let men and women of the same height and weight drink the same amount of alcohol in the same period of time. The women will have a higher blood alcohol concentration (BAC) than the men.
Second. Women also have less of a gastric enzyme (dehydrogenase) that breaks down or metabolizes alcohol before it can enter the bloodstream. Because of this, women absorb up to nearly 30% more alcohol into their bloodstream. This, compared to men of the same height and weight who drink the same amount of alcohol in the same time.
In addition, hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle can affect alcohol metabolism adversely. This increases the impact of alcohol.
Of course women are usually smaller and lighter than men. This fact alone means that the same amount of alcohol consumed at the same rate will have greater impact on them.
To that fact, add the higher proportion of body fat. Then add the lower levels of dehydrogenase. It’s easy to see how one drink can have the same effect on a woman as two have on a man.
So alcohol is sexist. When it comes to alcohol, men and women are inherently unequal. It’s important for women’s safety and health to remember this inequality. A woman should never try to ‘keep up’ with a man’s drinking. To do so is both foolish and dangerous. She should say to herself as often as necessary, “alcohol is sexist, alcohol is sexist.”
Equality of Alcohol
Here’s an important fact for both men and women to know. And it’s a fact of equality. Standard drinks of beer, dinner wine, and spirits are all equal. That is, each contains the same amount of pure alcohol.
Learn more about standard drinks and why understanding them is important.