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Are your drinking habits tied to your gender?

How's that hangover treating you this morning? Well, before you get lectured by your parents/spouse/AA sponsor about how hard you rung in 2013, here's a sobering thought: Your gender may be responsible when it comes to your drinking habits.

Kind of.

A new study from the University of Vigo in Spain showed that even though men on the whole drank more alcohol, ladies downed their picked poison a lot quicker. The survey of 985 college-aged kids revealed that 56.1 per cent of women were binge drinkers, compared with 41.3 per cent of men, according to

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(Binge drinking was defined as five or more drinks within two hours for men and four or more drinks for women in the same time frame. Though Jezebel writer Katie J.M. Baker rightly points out there is no mention in any of the media reports of what constitutes a drink.)

These results were just one aspect of a hodge-podge of findings from the study that looked at the unhealthy ways of students. Other nuggets included:

A total of 51.2 per cent of women were sedentary or did not get the recommended amount of physical activity each day compared with 41.7 per cent of men.

An irregular attitude to food was apparent in 8.8 per cent per cent of men and 16.6 per cent of women. Students who took subjects such as education were more likely to have an irregular attitude to food than students who took subjects such as health (19.2 per cent compared with 6.3 per cent).

And this quote from the researchers: "We were also surprised by the high consumption of illegal drugs among university students – 44.9 per cent of men and 30.9 per cent of women – which we understand could lead to significant future health problems, mainly related to the nervous system."

If you want to paint the conclusion in very broad strokes: Ladies, get it together.

But female binge drinking seems to have garnered the most news. Why is this shocking? The scientific conclusion is basically men and women both like to party when they're students.

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The smart people out there aren't gawking at the news that women enjoy alcohol. They are trying to find ways to capitalize on it. But a word of the wise to entrepreneurial or marketing types: Don't try pink beer. The female drinkers of the world have already spoken on that dumb idea.

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About the Author

Madeleine White is the Assistant National Editor for The Globe and Mail. She has been with the Globe since 2011 and previously worked in the Globe's Video and Features departments, covering topics ranging from fitness and health to real estate to indigenous education. More


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