Alcohol Stereotypes/Opinions

Even alcohol consumption has it’s pros and cons, most of us have been told the following stereotypes/opinions about drinking:

  • Some alcoholic beverages are labeled as either manly or girly drinks.

  • Men are expected to handle their alcohol better than women.

  • Binge drinking every weekend in college is just apart of the collegiate experience.

  • The drinking age should be 18, just like every other country outside of America.

  • Certain types of alcohol require an “acquired taste” even though some people may just not like the taste of certain alcohols.

  • Drinking in moderation is a healthy habit to partake in.

Sure, all of those seem mostly reasonable in my experience.

Men metabolize alcohol differently than women do and body mass is a factor for them when it isn’t for women. So yes, it’s reasonable to expect men to “handle” their alcohol better than women.

I’d say all types of alcohol are acquired tastes, not unlike hot spices. There’s this nasty burn that you have to adjust to before you can enjoy.

Another stereotype involves the undesireability of consuming different types of drink at the same time. Lots of people have strong opinions one way or another.

On the manly vs. girly drinks: I’ve noticed the Appletini seems to be TV shows way to indicate a metrosexual or gay guy.

Medically on average with plenty of exceptions, Men do handle alcohol better than Woman as body mass and metabolisms play into it.

Binge drinking every weekend in college (or the military) really is just a part of the collegiate experience, but at some point in college or the military binge drinking is considered normal.

My opinion: The drinking age should be below the driving age. Then by the time you’re driving you have some idea of your limitations and less teens will kill themselves and others. Italy has far more dangerous roads, kids drink a lot earlier and their drunk driving statistics, especially for 16-22 years olds are much better.

I agree some alcohols are an acquired taste, especially most hard alcohols.

Drinking in moderation has some excellent benefits. The problem is the health benefits seem to disappear with anything more than 10 beers/wines/shots in a week. Moderation is a loose word.

There are social aspects to drinking though also that still help with stress and emotions. So to a lesser degree I’m sure arguments can be made for a slightly higher intake.

The studies I’ve read seem to show naturally dark beers like porters & stouts and dark red wines seem to have the greatest health benefits but only if kept to 6-10 of either in a week.


I followed the link but didn’t see anything that I thought supported this statement. I would have expeced body mass to be a factor for either.

This is untrue. There are health benefits to the grape components, but you can get those from drinking grape juice. Alcohol has more harmful effects on the body than good ones. For most of us, they may be minor enough not to be concerned, but it’s clearly not true that it’s a healthy habit.

Alongside this study have come disturbing reports of the alcohol industry’s involvement in funding science that may have helped drinking look more favorable, as well as a growing worry that many people are naive about alcohol’s health effects. How many people know, for example, that as far back as 1988, the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer designated alcohol a level-one carcinogen? Some say too few.

Maybe it’s time that changes — with some caveats, as usual.

The “French paradox,” and why researchers thought a bit of alcohol was good for you

The story of light drinking as a healthy behavior started to take off in the 1990s, when many researchers believed red wine might be a magical elixir. This idea was known as the “French paradox” — the observation that the French drank lots of wine, and despite eating a diet rich in saturated fat, had lower rates of cardiovascular disease.

Researchers have since discovered it’s more than just their wine consumption that sets French people apart. But the red wine idea was replaced by a narrative suggesting drinking small amounts of any type of alcohol — no more than one drink a day for women, two for men — appeared to be linked with modest health and heart benefits.

I was hoping to find some entertaining, “What your drink says about you, according to bartenders,” to share with you, but most are whiny crap, with little veracity, IMHO. E.g.,

I know this because not one mentioned anything about tipping, or the effort to make a given drink during a rush. I appreciate learning about the subtleties of a proper Sazerac, (especially at a bar like Houston’s own, "Anvil.") but not when there’s five people behind me trying to get a drink.

I also didn’t like the article’s disdain for people who order shots. If you have the proper glassware, or even something like a Sherry copita, great! Otherwise, in the vast majority of cases, just promptly give me my Islay in a shot glass, with a water back and a cocktail straw, and I’ll be fine.

Ditto for sweet drinks. When I worked swings in hospitality, I really looked forward to my late evening Brandy Alexander, while I was waiting for my wife to get off her shift. I’d get it, tip like a drunken sailor, and peacefully watch the ocean outside for a half hour or so.

As I tell people when they ask me to teach them about wine: if you like it, it’s good. My job is to try and show you other things you might think are good too. Most of us started with fairly simple, sweet alcoholic beverages as we learned adult alcohol consumption. If you want to continue with that? Great! If you’re curious about something else, most good servers not in a rush will be happy to broaden your horizons.

You do realize you never asked a question in your OP, didn’t you? Though everyone’s assuming you’re asking if we agree with all of the points in your list.

But, first, tell us what YOU think. Don’t let us make these decisions for you.
So, are you asking for factual data, or asking if we agree with this bulleted list that “others” believe (maybe friends, or probably a “generic manly man”)?

See, I’d strongly refute that. I’ve been told NONE of those things, except maybe the last one (by my mother).

But maybe I’ve been drinking with the wrong people (teachers and engineers and artists, oh my). While you’re hanging around stereotypes, and listening to what they say (when they haven’t been “drinking in moderation”).

I could have phrased it better–at the same weight men will metabolize alcohol more quickly due to a generally lower body fat level and higher water content in their bodies than women. So if a man and a woman of equal weight drink the same amount of alcohol, he’ll be less drunk and over it faster than she will. Since men generally have a higher body mass than women it’s almost an ironclad certainty that he will be able to drink more with less effect than she will.

That is consistent my understanding of how these things work.

Since the topic is on stereotypes and opinions, I’ve known or noticed many female drinkers that seemed to be of the opinion that they could keep up with their fellow male drinkers; despite being both noticeably smaller as well as noticeably unable to keep up.

One common belief that wasn’t mentioned is this. Whiskey is supposed to taste nasty, and the way to drink it is hurriedly, so you don’t have to taste it. IMHO, drinking that way is a waste of money and an insult to good whiskey.

Y’know, OP, we could give you a whole new bulleted list. One prominent item would be “If you don’t enjoy it, don’t drink it.” A subset of that is “If you’d rather have a Coke, you don’t have to drink alcohol to look cool.”

… Though when I was your age, I desperately wanted the ladies to think, I mean realize, how cool I was, so I was known to ask the bartender for a Coke in an Old Fashioned glass with a wedge of lime. Looked like there was whiskey in it, but I didn’t lose my coolness like I usually would after two drinks.

I’m asking if any of you agree or disagree with my bulleted list of stereotypes and opinions. I’ll also give you my point of view as well:

  • Some alcoholic beverages are labeled as either manly or girly drinks.

I don’t care if it’s gender labeled by certain people, if it tastes good to me, then I’ll drink it, no matter what.

  • Men are expected to handle their alcohol better than women.

It depends on several factors, but I’ve seen both sides of the spectrum: Men out-drinking women and women out-drinking men.

  • Binge drinking every weekend in college is just apart of the collegiate experience.

Even though it’s a personal choice to partake in, it’s still an important social factor of the overall college culture.

  • The drinking age should be 18, just like every other country outside of America.

I think the drinking age should be 18, for certain alcoholic drinks:

Beer Store = 18 and older
Liquor Store = 21 and older

  • Certain types of alcohol require an “acquired taste” even though some people may just not like the taste of certain alcohols.

It depends on the person’s taste for alcohol, but after while, you may get used to the taste of certain alcoholic beverages, only if you try different brands of the said beverage.

  • Drinking in moderation is a healthy habit to partake in.

One can/bottle of beer or one glass of wine a day doesn’t seem like a problem, to me. It only becomes a problem if it starts to affect your life in a negative way. However, liquor shouldn’t be an “everyday” drink.

A few thoughts on some of these:

  • Some alcoholic beverages are labeled as either manly or girly drinks.

This is certainly an opinion that I’ve seen expressed, particularly in the realm of some guys looking down at other guys who drink what they consider to be “girly drinks” (typically, sweeter drinks). I’m not sure that a woman who drinks whiskey (or whatever you want to say is a “manly drink”) would face the same level of teasing.

  • Binge drinking every weekend in college is just apart of the collegiate experience.

A lot of college kids do feel this way, and a lot of us who went to college remember some of those parties fondly (and, maybe, not so fondly). There’s also the aspect of “wow, I can’t believe I drank that much back then.”

One of my goddaughters is a college senior; when she was a freshman, she had three suite-mates, two of whom had pretty much just gone off to college to have a good time. My goddaughter didn’t drink when she was underage (and is also very introverted, and not interested in partying), and her suite-mates were unrelenting in giving her grief about not being party animals like they were: “You’re missing out on what college is all about!” As it turned out, both of those young women flunked out after their freshman years, but they apparently had a fun time doing so.

  • The drinking age should be 18, just like every other country outside of America.

I don’t disagree, but it’s unlikely to change any time soon.

Until the 1980s, drinking ages varied by state (some were 18, some were 21, and some were something in between), and there was no small number of car crashes caused by young people driving across state lines to get drunk legally, and then crashing while drunk-driving on the way home.

The Reagan administration wasn’t able to institute an actual national drinking age of 21 (it’s considered to be something that falls into the purview of the individual states), but they were very effective in strong-arming the states into adopting 21, by threatening to cut off some of their federal highway funds if they didn’t. Even if that law were to go away, there’s no real way to mandate an 18 drinking age nationally, and you’d wind up with that patchwork of drinking ages again, and the same drunk driving issues as before.

  • Drinking in moderation is a healthy habit to partake in.

As has already been noted, while that’s something that some people believe, the actual medical evidence for it is unclear. Based on what I’ve read over the past few years, it doesn’t seem likely that drinking, at any level, is a “healthy habit,” but a few drinks a week is probably not terrible for you.

While y’all have been talking about drinking, I’ve been putting some Kahlúa in my coffee. If you’re going to drink all day, you gotta get a good start.

Long ago, I read an article in Esquire magazine about hangovers and drinking. One of the points was that alcohol could be oxidized faster if the drinker ate a lot of raisins beforehand. The key ingredient, the writer said, is fructose. Now, that was in the days before the agri-economy got tweaked to make it so profitable to put high fructose corn syrup in so many foods. I wonder sometimes if HFCS has changed the way America drinks. Maybe folks are drinking more, or faster, because the buzz won’t last as long.

Still, the fructose won’t stave off a hangover. It still takes (the article said) 4 water molecules to oxidize one molecule of alcohol, so you’ll need to drink a lot of water to prevent the dehydration that is a hangover.

High fructose corn syrup has about the same percentage of fructose to glucose as the table sugar (sucrose) it has replaced in most foods (roughly 50/50).

That doesn’t make sense. Even if we assume you’re drinking straight whiskey, say 80 proof, it will be 40% ethanol by volume or .31 g to .60 g by weight and from there we can go to mols where we’d have 6.85e-3 to 3.33e-2. So there are already 4.8 water molecules per ethanol molecule in each shot.

Ah, well. I should know better than to try to talk chemistry among folks who know it much better than I do.