While the exact cause of alcoholism is unknown, studies and research have concluded that it’s a medical condition influenced by genetic, psychological, social, and cultural factors. It’s believed that three-quarters of the population drink alcohol, with 10% of that number acquiring drinking habits that lead to serious health, work, or relationship problems, all of which are signs that alcohol abuse or dependence has turned into alcoholism. Research has shown that men are five times more likely than women to become alcoholics.
Genetics has long been blamed for alcoholism. If a father passes the “alcohol gene” to his son, the son is more likely to develop a drinking problem than someone who doesn’t have this gene. Genetics, however, are only part of the medical puzzle, and many men use it as an excuse, saying their drinking problem runs in the family, when in fact it’s their decisions that result in alcoholism.
Masculinity and Culture
Psychological, social, and cultural factors are also to blame for causing alcoholism in men. Essentially, people drink to change their moods, and this is a psychological factor. Drinking and masculinity have always gone hand in hand. Watch a sports game and men are bombarded with images that glorify alcohol consumption.
It doesn’t matter if the beer ads are funny, like those that air during the Super Bowl, or if they opt for a different marketing angle, like the Most Interesting Man in the World commercials, cultural media sends the wrong message to men. It’s no different than the glamorous ads that women see in style magazines.
These ads inform women they need to look a certain way to be beautiful, while beer commercials tell men they need to behave a certain way to be masculine.
The Signs of Alcoholism
There are countless signs of alcoholism in men. From drinking alone and hiding bottles around the house to losing a job and being aggressive to loved ones, every alcoholic behaves and acts differently. It all depends on the severity of their condition. There is one constant, however, for all alcoholics: the need to drink, and the willingness to lie to do so. The person who does this needs immediate help.