New York, July 31 (IANS) A survey of US military veterans has revealed that female veterans are actually less likely to drink than their civilian counterparts.
Women react differently to their experience in the military than men do.
“We suspect that part of the reason for the negative link between military service and alcohol use for women is the threat of sexual harassment and assault that is common in the military,” researchers claimed.
“Alcohol use is tightly linked to sexual assault, both within and outside the military, and women who serve may become particularly aware of this linkage,” they added.
It may also be the case that in order to justify their place in the military that women abstain from using alcohol, especially to the extent that their participation in particular military occupation specialties based on use of alcohol is subject to critical review based on their gender, the study noted.
To reach this conclusion, researchers Jay Teachman, Carter Anderson and Lucky Tedrow studied surveys of nearly 9,000 men and women who were currently members of the US military or who were military veterans.
Respondents were asked about their alcohol consumption in the previous 30 days.
Teachman found that for both men and women, the longer someone serves, the more likely they are to use alcohol.
Additionally, regardless of gender, enlistees who have served in a combat zone are the most likely to use alcohol, the study found.
The results were published in Armed Forces & Society, a SAGE journal published on behalf of the Inter-University Seminar on Armed Forces and Society.