✎✎✎ Gender Differences
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Males and females differ in their ability to metabolize alcohol. This difference is due to variations in the amount and activity of alcohol dehydrogenase ADH , the enzyme responsible for metabolizing alcohol. Males have highly active i. By contrast, females have almost no ADH in their stomach. Consequently, females absorb more alcohol into their bloodstream. Taken together, these gender differences in alcohol metabolism result in increased BACs for females compared to males if they both consume the same amount of alcohol. For the same number of drinks, it is easier for females to become intoxicated Figure 1.
Figure 1. Click here to see a summary of the factors that explain why females have higher BACs compared to males if they drink the same amount of alcohol. Please read the Duke Wordpress Policies. Contact the Duke WordPress team. The Alcohol Pharmacology Education Partnership. Schwartz-Bloom, Ph. Fulton T. The stereotypes of reserved men and emotional women are widespread and do affect the way young boys and girls are raised. Some researchers argue that we may be ingraining gender differences that do not naturally exist by accepting and passing on these stereotypes to our children.
Other researchers believe these differences have developed due to the evolutionary roles placed on men and women to survive and thrive. While researchers debate these gender differences, they agree that the differences ultimately can have a negative effect on members of both sexes. Recent research has shown important ways in which men and women react emotionally and perceive emotion in others:. And those are just studies over the past few years. Decades of research have found numerous differences in the ways men and women interpret emotions and react emotionally. Also, studies have found that gender differences matter more than sexual orientation — a heterosexual woman and a homosexual woman have more in common emotionally than a heterosexual woman and a homosexual man.
Gender differences in emotional processing and response have direct consequences on the physical and emotional health of men and women. Overly emotional women tend to be at greater risk for depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders, while men who repress their feelings tend to be at greater risk for physical ailments such as high blood pressure, and also tend to indulge in more risky behavior and vices such as smoking or drinking. Researchers and doctors have several different proposals for dealing with these differences.
Some argue that we should accept these gender differences, based on the fact that feminine women and masculine men tend to be happier than those who are gender-atypical. According to this line of reasoning, boys and girls should be allowed to develop both stereotypical and non-stereotypical emotional responses without judging them or trying to shape them. Others believe that parents can help dull or negate these stereotypes by refusing to reinforce them. For example, fathers who take a more involved role in child-rearing tend to raise children who don't fall into the stereotypical sex roles of the stoic male or expressive female. Whether you're trying to bring up children without gender stereotypes or looking after your own emotional health, be aware of these gender differences and how they affect both men's and women's experiences of the world.