Author

Julie Dare (email: j.dare@ecu.edu.au), Celia Wilkinson, Line Traumer, Kathrine H. Kusk, Marie‐Louise McDermott, Lynsey Uridge and Mette Grønkjær

Citation

Dare, J., Wilkinson, C., Traumer, L., Kusk, K.H., McDermott, M.‐L., Uridge, L. and Grønkjær, M. (2020), “Women of my age tend to drink”: the social construction of alcohol use by Australian and Danish women aged 50–70 years. Sociol Health Illn, 42: 35-49. doi:10.1111/1467-9566.12991


Source
Sociology of Health and Illness
Release date
19/09/2019

“Women of my age tend to drink”: The Social Construction of Alcohol Use by Australian and Danish Women Aged 50–70 Years

Research article

Abstract

Introduction

In Australia and Denmark, women aged 50–70 years are more likely than younger women to consume alcohol at levels that exceed national low risk alcohol use guidelines. To explore and possibly help explain this sociocultural shift in patterns of alcohol use.

Method

This research investigated the social construction of alcohol use amongst 49 women (25 in Northern Denmark, 24 in Western Australia) aged 50–69 years.

Results

The women viewed alcohol use as normal and acceptable. While some women reported reducing their alcohol use due to health concerns, others neutralised alcohol‐related health risks through compensatory behaviours including exercise. Such constructions arguably serve to sustain at‐risk alcohol use amongst some women.

Conclusion

This research highlights that interventions to minimise alcohol‐related health risks amongst middle‐aged and young‐old women should acknowledge that women’s social construction of their alcohol use practices may prioritise subjective experiences of “being in control” while consuming alcohol, over biomedical understandings of the health impacts of alcohol.


Source Website: Wiley Online Library