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06.13.2006

Mid-life Crisis? Alcoholic? Blame The Wine!

File this one under irresponsible journalism and a failing grade in college-level statistics. Not to mention a complete ignorance of the scientific method. Apparently someone has noticed a few statistics in Ireland associated with booze:

1. People in Ireland are drinking more wine than ever
2. Women in Ireland are drinking more alcohol than ever.
3. Women in Ireland are drinking more wine than ever before.
4. The incidence of alcoholism in women between the ages of 30 and 40 is on the rise
5. Those women who are becoming alcoholics do not have histories of heavy drinking
6. An increasing number of women who are diagnosed as alcoholics say their drink of choice is wine (rather than vodka, which used to be the top choice).

The conclusion drawn by some idiotic reporter and unnamed "experts" whom she cites in her story: Wine is to blame for late onset alcoholism in Irish women.

As if linking these two things causally weren't enough of an affront to logic, the piece goes on to explore how wine is served in bigger glasses than other alcohol, which leads to over consumption, and how wine tastes good so women can't tell how much they are drinking.

I suppose my mock outrage here can only go so far. Essentially this is the same argument (writ small) that has been used to fight the war on drugs for years: it's the drugs that are responsible for people screwing up their lives. If we just got rid of them everyone would be fine.

Western society loves to find any possible solution or scapegoat for its problems rather than actually change its behavior or look hard at the socio-economic and political factors which drive addictive and self-destructive behaviors. Just like some journalists love to play with statistics.

Now if we could only get those rioting winegrowers in France to just blame the wine.

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