244709 Macro-level gender equality and alcohol consumption: A study across U.S. states

Monday, October 31, 2011

Sarah C. M. Roberts, DrPH , Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health, Dept. of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, University of California, San Francisco, Oakland, CA
Higher levels of women's alcohol consumption have long been attributed to increases in gender equality. However, only limited research examines the relationship between gender equality and alcohol consumption. This study examined associations between five measures of state-level gender equality and five alcohol consumption measures. Survey data regarding men's and women's alcohol consumption from the 2005 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System were linked to state-level indicators of gender equality created based on data from the Institute for Women's Policy Research. Gender equality indicators included women's economic/education status, gender equality in economic/education status, reproductive rights, violence against women policy, and women's political participation. Alcohol consumption measures included past-30 day drinker status, frequency, frequency of consuming five or more drinks, volume, and risky drinking. Other than drinker status, consumption is measured for drinkers only. Multilevel linear and logistic regression models adjusted for individual demographics as well as state-level income inequality, median income, and % evangelical/Mormon. All gender equality indicators were positively associated with both men's and women's drinker status in bivariate models; associations were not significant in models controlling for other state-level characteristics. With the exception of reproductive rights and frequency, all associations between gender equality and alcohol consumption were either negative or non-significant in models controlling for other state-level factors. Findings do not support the hypothesis that higher levels of gender equality lead to increased alcohol consumption. To the extent that associations are significant, findings suggest that higher levels of equality are associated with less alcohol consumption among both men and women.

Learning Areas:
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. List different measures of state-level gender equality that can be used in public health research 2. Describe the relationship between state-level gender equality and menís and womenís alcohol consumption.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to be an abstract Author on the content I am responsible for because I conceptualized the study, gathered the data, conducted the analyses, and interpreted the findings.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.