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Friday, February 23, 2007

Gender, Alcohol and Culture: an International Study

Management of substance abuse


Alcohol, Gender and Drinking Problems: Perspectives from Low and Middle Income Countries

This book is a product of the multinational collaborative project on "Gender, Alcohol and Culture: an International Study" (GENACIS). It addresses significant issues on gender and alcohol and presents data from eight low and middle income countries.

This book presents data and addresses significant issues on gender and
alcohol in eight low and middle income countries where such data are often
not available. The book is a product of the multinational collaborative
project on "Gender, Alcohol and Culture: an International Study"
(GENACIS). GENACIS was funded by the European Commission, the U.S.
National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse (NIAAA), the Swiss
Office of Education and Science, the German Federal Ministry of Public
Health, the World Health Organization, government agencies and other
sources in individual countries.

The study was conceived by the International Research Group on
Gender and Alcohol (IRGGA), a group of researchers affiliated with the
Kettil Bruun Society for Social and Epidemiological Research on Alcohol
(KBS). Beginning with a few countries in 1999, GENACIS grew to include
projects in more than thirty countries and 50 researchers, all united by a
common interest in seeking greater understanding of gender and alcohol

GENACIS uses a centralized data analysis and standardized measures
to assess the differences between men and women within and across
cultures in the following areas:
• patterns and contexts of drinking;
• prevalence of alcohol problems;
• the experience of drinking-related violence in close relationships;
• how social inequalities and social roles influence drinking and
heavy alcohol consumption;
• the relationship of societal-level factors (e.g., gender equality,
drinking culture norms) to drinking and alcohol-related problems.
The study grew out of earlier projects in Europe and the U.S. and seeks
to clarify further the factors associated with men's and women's drinking
and alcohol-related problems.

GENACIS is truly an international project; participating countries are
drawn from all parts of the world, especially from countries where harmful
use of alcohol poses a threat to public health and social welfare. Funding
provided to WHO by the Government of Valencia, Spain, made it possible
for countries in low and middle income countries to participate in the
project. These countries are Argentina, Costa Rica, India, Kazakhstan,
Nigeria, Sri Lanka and Uganda. There are also ongoing WHO-funded
projects in three countries in the region of the Americas.

The papers published in this book report data from six of these
countries and from two other countries (Brazil and Mexico) participating
in GENACIS. Each paper addresses a particular issue of relevance to the
country and provides a general overview of drinking and alcohol problems.

All papers evolved through a series of revisions after consultations with
and reviews by a team of experts associated with the project. These experts
and lead authors participated in group discussions held in Berlin, Krakow,
and Helsinki during GENACIS steering committee meetings or the annual
conference of the Kettil Bruun Society.

GENACIS is one of several projects on alcohol by the Department of
Mental Health and Substance Abuse that are designed to enhance our
understanding of alcohol problems and provide the basis for effective
interventions. This product from the GENACIS project will serve as a
valuable resource to researchers, service providers, policy-makers,
students and all those engaged in work on alcohol and public health, and
contribute to shaping a global response to the harmful consequences of

Dr Benedetto Saraceno
Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse

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