The Different Affects of Drug Abuse Among Genders

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As seen in Long Days Journey into Night by Eugene O’Neill, drug abuse affects women and men differently. Mary Tyrone seems to be affected mentally by her morphine addiction, whereas the men, Tyrone, Jamie, Edmund, in the household appear to be affected physically by their alcohol addiction. Cynthia Robbins’s “Sex Differences in Psychosocial Consequences of Alcohol and Drug Abuse” supports the different effects of drug abuse among men and women. She examines three different hypotheses concerning gender differences in the impact of alcohol and drug abuse. She claims that the generalized view of women being more vulnerable lies on physical vulnerability, social control and labeling, and internalized sex role norms. In addition, she offers a style of deviance perspective, which suggests that women are more vulnerable to adverse intrapsychic consequences of substance abuse, but that men are more vulnerable to certain behavioral and interpersonal consequences. Gerardine Meaney’s article also focuses on the generalized view of women and men, specifically of Mary and Tyrone in the play.
Drug abuse and alcohol abuse are expected to have worse consequences for women than for men based on biological differences and societal role expectations for men and women. The biological argument is that women metabolize alcohol at a different rate because of their lower ratio of water to body weight. Social role expectations exist because of the strong social disapproval of intoxication and drug

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