*Note* This scheduling program was not designed by folks who do a lot with APA Style and unfortunately it defaults to listing authors in alphabetical order. We cannot fix this for this online schedule, but the author orders are posted in the order submitted in the printed program available via pdf here.
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Saturday, March 7 • 2:25pm - 3:25pm
The impact of gender role conformity on alcohol use among emerging adults in Canada

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Feminist scholars have noted that substance use issues should be examined using a sociopolitical and cultural lens (Covington, 2002; Grant, 2006). There is limited research on the influence of social power structures, including internalized socially constructed gender roles, on drinking patterns of men and women. Over the past two decades the gender gap in alcohol use has narrowed (Greenfield, 2002), particularly for emerging adults (i.e., ages 18-25), with rates of alcohol use for women ‘catching up’ to those of men. What was once a male-dominated ‘rite of passage’ and overt display of masculinity is now a common behaviour among women as well, yet drinking is still construed as ‘unfeminine’ in some respects. The current study examines how social constructions of masculinity and femininity affect alcohol behaviours for men and women, given the recent trend in convergence. Emerging adults aged 19-25 (N=191; 132 women, 59 men) participated in an online survey. Participants responded to standardized measures of alcohol use, alcohol problems, conformity to norms of masculinity/femininity, gender stereotyped traits, and the degree to which they viewed gender roles as dichotomous. Men and women also estimated the number of drinks they typically consumed in various settings, which were either same-gender or mixed-gender contexts. Linear regression analyses revealed that several domains of masculinity and femininity were significantly associated with alcohol use and alcohol problems, whereas other domains were negatively related to alcohol outcomes. Further, gender conformity variables were found to be significant correlates of drinking in various settings and events. Overall, the patterns of relationships were gender specific. Being a ‘playboy’ (for men) and the desire to be thin (for women) were the most important correlates of alcohol use and problems. For women, sexual fidelity was significantly and negatively related to alcohol outcomes. Implications of these findings are discussed from a feminist critical perspective.


Julia Hussman

University of Toronto


Abby Goldstein

University of Toronto

Saturday March 7, 2015 2:25pm - 3:25pm PST