Gender differences in drinking behavior are analysed with emphasis on their relationship with changes in roles and positions of men and women in society. The 'convergence hypothesis' is used as a starting point. From its implications, a number of specific hypotheses are derived and tested using data from six surveys of the general population of the Netherlands, held between 1958 and 1993. No convergence of gender differences is found for abstinence and heavy frequent drinking. Convergence of male-female differences in average weekly consumption appeared in the 1980s, but it is no longer significant at 5% level after controlling for age, education and family situation. Further elaboration of the gender by year interaction shows that convergence is related to a decrease in consumption among higher educated men. Contrary to expectation, an increase in consumption has occurred among women over 40 years of age. No relationship appears with female employment and religion. Having a family is related to lower consumption among women, while it has no significant effect on men's consumption. Although some evidence for convergence was found, results are not in agreement with expectations formulated from the perspective of the convergence hypothesis.
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 1996|