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Whisky or white zin? Is the difference divorce?

New Yorkers who like to imbibe in the occasional cocktail (or even those who don't) may be interested in a recent study about married couples' drinking habits. In particular, the study asked how alcohol consumption affects divorce rates.

The research was conducted over a 15-year period by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. An article in the New York Daily News doesn't indicate where the 19,997 couples in the study actually reside, but the findings will be interesting for anyone who thinks alcohol consumption may be contributing to a marital breakdown.

In short, the study concluded that the most important thing, in terms of alcohol consumption for married couples, is that each party consumes about the same amount. Interestingly, when women consumed more alcohol than their male spouses, the chance for divorce was highest. One author of the study offered some explanation for this.

He claimed that "women are more affected by drinking than men are." He also suggested that society doesn't accept women's use of alcohol as readily as men's use of alcohol, perhaps because too much drinking would disrupt "female roles in family life."

Another intriguing aspect of the study is that spouses who both drank a goodly amount were not the most likely to divorce, but couples who drank very little had the lowest divorce rate.

What that means is that when spouses drink significantly different amounts of alcohol, the risk of divorce is highest.

The research is bound to spur opinions in favor of and against the authors' claims. We would like to hear what you think.

Source: New York Daily News, "Drinking differences linked to divorce: study," Micheal Walsh, Feb. 9, 2013

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