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Alcohol Use Disorder: Gender and Sex Differences

Alcohol use disorder (AUD) refers to a pattern of drinking that causes clinically significant distress or functional impairment in social, occupational, or other important life domains. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), specifies that 2 out of 11 possible criteria must be met to be diagnosed with AUD. Gender differences refer to socially constructed differences between men and women, whereas sex differences refer to distinctions based on biological sex characteristics; however, they are often used interchangeably. Research shows that the prevalence, physiological processes, health-related consequences, and treatment-seeking behavior associated with alcohol use differ by gender and sex. Although research is lacking on individuals who are transgender (i.e., experience their gender as different from their biological sex) and intersex (i.e., have ...

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