Among people who consume alcohol, males typically drink more alcohol than women in the United States and across the globe, according to a study done by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism(1). This level of consumption puts men at a greater risk for many different alcohol-related health effects, such as liver problems, cardiovascular disease, neurotoxicity and various forms of cancer.
What is Binge Drinking?
Binge drinking is defined as when a man drinks enough to raise his blood alcohol content to .08 within a timespan of two hours, which is typically five or more drinks, on at least one occasion in the last 30 days. This rapidly high BAC can have serious short-term and long-term effects on the mind and body.
How Do Drinking Levels Differ Between the Genders?
According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the following serious health consequences and other negative effects can result from excessive alcohol consumption among men:(2)
About 58 percent of adult males report drinking alcohol in the last 30 days.
About 23 percent of adult males reported binge drinking five times a month, consuming an average of eight drinks per binge session.
Adult men are almost two times more likely to binge drink than adult women.
Approximately 90 percent of people who binge drink are not alcoholics or alcohol dependent.
Men Have an Increased Risk for Injuries and Death from Binge Drinking
Men have higher rates of alcohol-related deaths and hospitalizations compared to women. In fatal vehicle crashes, male drivers are almost twice as likely as women to have been inebriated. Excessive alcohol consumption results in heightened aggression in males, increasing the risks of physical assaults on other people. Men are more likely than women to commit suicide, with men more likely to have consumed alcohol before the act was committed.
Reproductive Health, Sexual Effects & Male Drinking
Abusing alcohol can affect testicular function and the production of a male hormones. This can lead to erectile dysfunction and infertility and reduce the presence of male sex characteristics like facial and chest hair. Excessive consumption of alcohol in males is a commonly seen factor in sexual assaults.
Men who engage in sexual activity after excessive alcohol use have a higher likelihood of engaging in risky sexual activity. These risks include unprotected sex, sex with multiple partners or sex with a partner at risk for sexually transmitted diseases.
Health Effects in Men
In 2013, among males, 48.5 percent of the 46,568 liver disease deaths involved alcohol(3). Excessive consumption of alcohol also leads to an increased risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, liver and colon in men.
If you feel you are sliding down the slippery slope to alcohol addiction through binge drinking, or excessive alcohol consumption, seek the professional help needed to safely enter recovery. Binge drinking is dangerous and unhealthy, can cause you to neglect your responsibilities and put those you love at risk as well.