A Sex-Roles Perspective on Drug and Alcohol Use by Women

  • Mary Ellen Colten
  • Jeanne C. Marsh


Patterns of use and misuse of drugs and alcohol consistently have differed by gender. Men have exceeded women in the use of alcohol and illicit substances to such a degree that substance abuse has been seen as a male problem. Until recently, the meaning of these differential patterns and the problems of substance use and misuse by women has been virtually ignored. A decade ago, Hochschild (1973) noted that “most research in the social sciences is on male subjects; yet there are significantly different findings on males and females ... which are often ignored. As a corrective, most sex role research is on women.” This chapter offers another corrective. We believe that research in substance use and abuse has progressed so that we can go beyond describing women or describing differences between men and women to exploring what those differences tell us about substance abuse, about sex roles, and about the relationship between the two.


Psychotropic Drug Drinking Pattern Substance Abuse Problem Psychological Androgyny Alcoholic Woman 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mary Ellen Colten
    • 1
  • Jeanne C. Marsh
    • 2
  1. 1.Center for Survey ResearchBostonUSA
  2. 2.School of Social Service AdministrationUniversity of ChicagoChicagoUSA

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