Researchers from the University of Cincinnati will present their findings today at the American Sociological Association.
The study, led by sociologist Professor Corinne Reczek, used results from a large-scale behavioural study combined with data from 120 interviews with married, widowed, divorced and single people across the U.S state of Wisconsin.
Overall, men (married, widowed, divorced and single) were found to drink more than women and were more likely to have a drinking problem. However, once they’d wondered down the aisle and settled happily into married life, men appeared to cut their drinking habits significantly.
Women on the other hand, appeared to drink far less even when they were divorced, widowed or single, compared to when they were married.
Divorced men were found to be the heaviest drinkers of all groups, while married men were least inclined to take to the bottle.
The researchers concluded that men have a bad influence on women. Married women pick up their husbands’ drinking habits and drop them again upon divorce.
“Additionally, our survey results show that continuously married men drink less than men in all other marital status groups, especially recently divorced men,” researchers explained, suggesting that women have a good influence on men when it comes to alcohol consumption.
These findings are consistent with previous UK studies, including a Cardiff University study that found that married couples ate more healthily than single people, and were 15% less likely to suffer a premature death. Similarly, the Office for National Statistics found that married people were generally more content with their lives than single people.
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