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(REUTERS/Stephanie Keith)


Media coverage of women who binge drink reflects social expectations, not reality, study finds

December 29, 2016

A new study has found that women’s binge drinking receives more coverage from newspapers than binge drinking by men – in spite of men drinking more in reality.

The study, published in BMJ Open, found that media not only misrepresented the quantity that men and women drank, but were also more likely to link women’s drinking with negative changes to their physical appearance. Going by media coverage alone, researchers asserted, readers would be unlikely to have an accurate understanding of binge drinking – or of how to reduce the health risks associated with it.

“Media coverage of women’s binge drinking isn’t just about health or public disorder; it also performs a moralizing, paternalistic role, reflecting broader social expectations about women’s public behavior,” explained Chris Patterson from the public health sciences unit at the University of Glasgow. “As well as unfairly stigmatizing women, media coverage of binge drinking is problematic in terms of communication information about a serious health issue to the public.”’

Read the full story at The Guardian.


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