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Alcohol impairment of behavior in men and women

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Studies have shown that alcohol impairs the ability to inhibit behavioral responses in humans and some evidence suggests that men might display greater impairment than women. The present study compared men and women in the degree to which a moderate dose of alcohol impaired their inhibitory control at comparable blood alcohol concentrations. Design 

Twelve male and 12 female adult social drinkers received a moderate dose of alcohol (0.65 g/kg) and a placebo in a counterbalanced order and performed a cued go/no-go task that measured the ability to inhibit and execute behavioral responses. Findings 

When the behavioral response was pre-potent (i.e. instigated), men displayed greater impairment of inhibitory control under alcohol than women. Men also reported greater levels of subjective stimulation from alcohol compared with women, who reported more sedation from the drug. Conclusions 

A gender difference in alcohol impairment of inhibitory control could account for observations that disinhibited and aggressive behaviors under alcohol are more pronounced in men than in women.
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Keywords: alcohol; behavioral control; gender difference; inhibition

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Kentucky, Department of Psychology, Lexington, Kentucky, USA

Publication date: 01 October 2004

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