Stress drinking has a gender divide

Published September 13, 2023


An article in The Atlantic  on the history of how alcohol became “mother’s little helper” quotes David Herzberg. After World War II, as working women returned to the home, sedatives like Miltown and Valium became popular. These were the tranquilizers that inspired the Rolling Stones to warn against the dangers of middle-class addiction in their 1966 hit “Mother’s Little Helper.” Herzberg said sexist doctors were “more likely to just see women as making annoying complaints that were about things that were all in their heads. And it was delightful to have a pill that seemed to take care of that, from the doctor’s point of view.”

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