Alcohol Consumption Patterns: A Gender Comparative Study Among High School Youth in South Africa

  •  Prudence Mafa    
  •  Jabulani Calvin Makhubele    
  •  Janetta Agnes Ananias    
  •  Beatrice Namoonga Chilwalo    
  •  Frans Koketso Matlakala    
  •  Selelo Frank Rapholo    
  •  Anesu Svinurai    
  •  Miriam Winnie Hasheela    
  •  Ndanyakuwa Ilonga Hamuse Tiberia    
  •  Rachel Johanna Freeman    


AIM: The aim of this study was to examine the alcohol drinking patterns among young male and female alcohol drinkers.

METHOD: Data were collected though a questionnaire from 71 grade 11 learners who expressed that they had had an alcoholic drink in the preceding month. 62% of the respondents were male and the remaining 38% was represented by female learners. The data collected was analysed using the Statistical Package for the Social Science (SPSS).

RESULTS: This study showed that young people begin using alcohol at a relatively young age. Furthermore, male drinkers have an earlier alcohol debut than their female counterparts. Beer, cider and wine were the most consumed beverages, with males more inclined to drink beer and females gravitating towards drinking wine. There was an even split between ciders in the study, with the majority of both male and female respondents indicating that their drink of choice was cider. Weekends are the most opportune moments for the youth to consume alcohol. Holidays are also earmarked by the youth to engage in alcohol consumption.

CONCLUSION: The results show that the age of alcohol debut is as low as 8 years for males and 10 years for females. Males have a higher prevalence of alcohol use than females. There is however no difference in binge drinking between the two gender as binge drinking and drinking to get drunk are the preferred methods of alcohol consumption for both genders.

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