09 Nov 12 Cleverest women are the heaviest drinkers
Women who went to university consume more alcohol than their less-highly-educated counterparts, a major study has found.Those with degrees are almost twice as likely to drink daily, and they are also more likely to admit to having a drinking problem.
A similar link between educational attainment and alcohol consumption is seen among men, but the correlation is less strong.
The findings come from a comprehensive study carried out at the London School of Economics in which researchers tracked the lives of thousands of 39-year-old women and men, all born in the UK during the same week in 1970.
The report concludes: “The more educated women are, the more likely they are to drink alcohol on most days and to report having problems due to their drinking patterns.
“The better-educated appear to be the ones who engage the most in problematic patterns of alcohol consumption.”
Women’s alcohol consumption can even be predicted from their scores in school tests taken when they are as as young as five.
Women who achieved “medium” or “high” test marks as schoolgirls are up to 2.1 times more likely to drink daily as adults.
The authors of the report, Francesca Borgonovi and Maria Huerta, suggest several possible explanations as to why better-educated women drink more.
They tend to have children later, postponing the responsibilities of parenthood. They may have more active social lives or work in male-dominated workplaces with a drinking culture.
As girls, they may have grown up in middle-class families and seen their parents drink regularly.
In the long-term study, the LSE team followed all the people born in Britain during one week in 1970, asking them questions about their lifestyle at regular periods throughout their lives…..