Do women drive men to DRINK? Men who move in with their girlfriends ‘end up consuming more alcohol if their partner enjoys a regular tipple’
- Researchers looked at almost 1,500 Australian couples who had just moved in
- Boyfriends’ alcohol consumption steadily increased in the three years following
- Females were not influenced at all by their man’s drinking habits after first year
Men who move in with a girlfriend who enjoys a glass of wine may end up drinking more alcohol, a study suggests.
Researchers looked at almost 1,500 Australian couples in their late 20s who had just started living together.
They found found men tended to drink less if they lived with a woman who wasn’t a big drinker.
But their alcohol consumption steadily increased over three years if their girlfriend enjoyed a larger amount than them.
Men who move in with their girlfriends may end up drinking more alcohol years down the line, a study suggests (stock image)
Women were influenced their man’s drinking habits, but only in the first year of the couple settling down together.
The researchers believe being exposed to someone else’s daily habits influences your choices.
And they suggest women might be more strong-willed when it comes to saying no to a drink.
The team from La Trobe University in Melbourne studied 1,483 newly cohabiting heterosexual couples.
They drew on data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia survey.
All of the participants reported their alcohol consumption on a weekly basis over a period of two years.
When they moved house to live with someone else, they remained part of the survey and so their partner was asked to answer the same questions.
The researchers found how much one person drank had a ‘modest, yet significant’ effect on their partner’s alcohol consumption
They then used statistical analysis to map out how their drinking habits would have continued up until four years.
‘Cohabitation is increasingly becoming an important relationship step and precursor or alternative to marriage,’ said lead author Geoffrey Leggat.
‘Our findings suggest that cohabitation may present with similar levels of partner influence, related to alcohol consumption, as new marriages.
‘Partners in cohabiting relationships should be mindful of the potential effect their alcohol consumption may have, not only on their own consumption, but on that of their partner.’
The study is published in the medical journal Drug & Alcohol Review.
In England, one in 10 men and one in 20 women drink alcohol nearly every day, and almost a third of men have more than the recommended 14 units a week.
Separate research earlier this year, led by the University of Bristol, found people are extremely likely to pick a partner who drinks the same amount as them.
Those who never drank were 13 times more likely to end up with another teetotaller, while those who enjoyed a tipple more than a few times a week were six times more likely to be with someone with the same habit.
Middle-aged people are the heaviest drinkers, while one in four young adults are now teetotal
A major NHS report revealed middle-aged people are far more likely to drink too much alcohol on a regular basis than those who are younger.
Its Health Survey for England found more than a quarter of men and women between 65 and 74 drink five or more days a week.
That’s compared with 4 per cent of men and 2 per cent of women in the 25-34 bracket.
Among those aged 45 to 54, 16 per cent of women and 33 per cent of men drink more than the recommended amount – as opposed to 13 per of women and 22 per cent of men aged 16-24.
A spokeswoman from the Alcohol Information Partnership, which is funded by alcohol firms including Bacardi and Moet Hennessy, said: ‘We know that middle-aged people are likely to drink to harmful levels and this needs to change.
‘However, it is encouraging to see that the proportion of people drinking to harmful levels has been falling steadily for a decade.
‘This reflects the UK’s maturing relationship with alcohol, with fewer people drinking to get drunk.’