If You’re an Educated Woman, You Probably Have a Drinking Problem


Seems like these studies come out every week or so just to freak us out (or in the case of this one about well-educated women being “problem drinkers,” confirm something we kinda already knew). But, since we did go to college, and since we do enjoy an adult beverage now and again, and since it is opening day, we’ll play ball.

Researchers at the London School of Economics studied thousands of 39-year-olds all born in the UK during the same week in 1970, and found the following, as reported in the Daily Telegraph:

Better educated women are nearly twice as likely to drink daily, and they also are more likely than less educated women to say they’ve got an alcohol problem.

The connection exists for men, too, but it’s not as strong.

But this in itself doesn’t seem to prove anything. Presumably, knowing your delicious wines, beers, and single malt scotches — i.e., being “educated” — would only encourage the regular drinking of such beverages, no? There’s so much good stuff out there, you have to make a commitment!

And, if you’re well-educated, you’ve probably been taught some self-awareness and perhaps a bit of pop psychology, which would force you to acknowledge, however guiltily, that you may have been drinking too much — and then pour yourself another. After all, once you’re in for three glasses, what’s the bottle? An educated person doesn’t let a good drink go to waste.

The report’s authors, Maria Huerta and Francesca Borgonovi, told the Daily Telegraph that better educated women may drink more because they have kids later in life and have more active social lives. They also hold down jobs in a workplace dominated by men, where drinking is more accepted.

Well, that sounds more like fun than a drinking problem.

But then there’s this:

Women who hold a degree and a high-level job may handle workplace stress by using alcohol to numb themselves, says Dr. David Eigen, a psychologist and the author of Women–the Goddesses of Wisdom.

Touché, Dr. Eigen. And in a world where numbing oneself is not necessary, we will read your book, and we clever women (nay, goddesses) will cut down on the booze. But for now, let’s add this study to the circular file that includes “Commuting makes you miserable,” and “New Yorkers are the unhappiest people in the nation.”

And then let’s reread that one about wine drinkers being skinny, and let’s walk away and go have a little drink with our denial.