A new UK study has revealed that lesbians drink far more than straight women, even after having a hazardous relationship with alcohol.
Scientists used to theorise that LGB women would drink more than their straight counterparts because, well, being LGB apparently makes women sad, so they drink to feel better.
However, study conducted by Britain’s leading LGBT mental health charity, PACE found that 31.9 percent of straight women engaged in problematic drinking, as compared to 37.1 percent of lesbian and bisexual women, but almost have same levels of addiction.
So why is it that lesbians drink more than straight women?
Margaret Unwin, the CEO of PACE, said that their findings showed that factors like difficulties within families, anxiety about coming out and fear of actual negative responses when accessing services creates pressures, which leads to LGB women having problematic drinking patterns.
“Problematic drinking among lesbian and bisexual women is often associated with prevailing heterosexism, such as difficulties within families, anxiety about coming out and fear of or actual negative responses when accessing services…[they] can partly explain why LGB women may have problematic drinking patterns.”
If you ask us, the fact LGB women like drinking, could really be down to the fact that some of the only safe spaces for lesbian women to exist are bars and clubs in big towns. LGB women in rural areas drink less than LGB women living in cities.
As one interviewee in the RaRE Research Project (it stands for Risk and Resilience Explored), put it:
“British culture and attitude to alcohol [is unhelpful]. It’s encouraged. The media encourage it, it’s everywhere. It’s how we socialise. The gay scene is awful for it. There are pills everywhere. Women especially are heavy drinkers.”