2001, Number 2
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ABSTRACTWomen around the world seem to be at an important risk of developing alcohol problems. In most drinking cultures, females are expected to abstain or drink less than males and as a consequence they actually drink less. However when they develop alcohol problems, they are often more rejected, experience more problems and hide more their addiction, which in turn difficult early detection and treatment. Females that do not drink alcohol are also affected in their social role of mothers or wives of alcohol addicts, which include violence and an increased burden in their role as providers, among others. In spite of these important differences, social and health research has traditionally focused on male drinking habits and problems, and the current measures to study this problem as well as the prevention and treatment alternatives, have been developed disregarding the special conditions and needs of females. This paper focused on the developing nations, describes the physiological, psychological, and socio-cultural gender differences; describes the position of females and the special way in which they are affected by alcohol; illustrates gender differences in drinking practices, drinking norms, alcohol related problems and treatment alternatives, and presents some considerations leading to a more comprehensive policy.
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