When it Comes to Drinking, Men and Women are Not the Same


In my last post, I mentioned some of the factors that go into how fast someone’s body will absorb and eliminate alcohol. One of the factors is whether the drinker is male or female. Absorption and elimination of alcohol is different between males and females. This is true even if you have a male and female of the same height and weight who drink the same amount of alcohol.

Although many females may cringe at the first factor, it is nonetheless true and attributes to faster absorption of alcohol in the female body. Females have more body fat than do men. Men, on the other hand, have more water weight. Since alcohol is not fat-soluble, it gets absorbed and enters the bloodstream much more quickly and at higher levels. Sorry ladies, that’s science talking, not me.

Males have more of the stomach enzyme that breaks down alcohol before it enters the bloodstream. This simple physiological difference alone causes up to 30 percent more of ingested alcohol reaching the bloodstream of females than males of similar weight and height.

Without going into the details, some research has shown menstrual cycles can affect female absorption rate of alcohol. Suffice it to say that alcohol is absorbed the quickest in the week just prior to the menstrual cycle. Additionally, the use of medication during the menstrual cycle may accelerate alcohol absorption because the change in hormones affects the liver.

While we, as a society, have made great strides in treating men and women equally, alcohol has not been so progressive. So if you’re one of the girls out there who likes to “keep up” with the guys with tossing back the shots, know that it’s not a level playing field. And even if you drink the same amount as a male who is the same height and weight, the intoxicating effects will hit you harder making you less likely to operate a vehicle safely.

While this may be true, you females do have one statistic on your side: the vast majority of DUI arrests have been attributed to males.

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