Throughout American history, alcohol consumption has been an important element in defining male identity and establishing standards of male public behavior. Since colonial times, the pressure to drink could be so strong in some all-male spaces that liquor consumption came to be considered a badge of honor. Paradoxically, while male culture has typically required drinking to establish one's social standing, excess consumption has generally been viewed as a sign of weakness.

From the outset, public consumption of alcohol in America was a male prerogative. This practice originated in Europe, where the alehouse served as a place for males to share camaraderie over drinks, and the early settlers brought these traditions with them. Authorities in Puritan New England sought to regulate alcohol consumption by limiting both the ...

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