In 1998, 8% of women were classed as binge drinkers, a figure which rose to 15% in 2006. There was also a narrowing of the gender gap in binge drinking, as male binge drinking only rose by one percent, to 23%, over the same period of time.
The largest rise was in women over 65, who are now consuming on average 5.1 units, a rise from 2.7 units. The research also showed that, despite stereotypes, there had in fact been a reduction of 9% in the number of men aged 16 to 24 binge drinking.
Lesley Smith, from Oxford Brookes University, who helped lead the study said: “Many people will be surprised to learn that young men’s drinking, including binge drinking, has gone down in recent years, while middle-aged and older people’s drinking has increased.”