He Said: Gendered Drinking in Social Situations

As warm weather starts to set in and many seem much more inclined to imbibe, some may notice differences in the way males and females handle social drinking experiences.

Everal “Ben” Eaton is a senior within the Department of Psychology at Wilkes University. While Eaton dedicates most of his free time during the warmer months to outdoor activity, he said he typically visits the bar once or twice weekly. He typically patrons Rodano’s, the Woodlands and bars local to him, as he is a commuter.

“I tend to go out with a mix of males and females,” said Eaton. “I usually go with one or two people and end up running into quite a few friends while I’m out.”

The senior psychology major tends to drink rum-based mixed drinks or lagers, but says he sees most guys ordering a wider array of beers and mixed drinks. While he has heard past generations criticize the drinks males choose to order, he feels this is no longer a timely concern and said he does not hear neither positive nor negative feedback.

“Honestly, that’s something I heard from my parents more than from my generation,” said Eaton. “I have ordered what some may consider ‘girly’ drinks and was never harassed for it. I think it’s a dying notion.”

While Eaton said he does not see instances of criticism in regards to the drinks he or others consume, he does feel pressure to drink larger quantities.

“When I do go out, I feel a sort of underlying pressure to drink large amounts,” explained Eaton. “There isn’t really a particular person that makes me feel this way. Rather, it is more of a societal pressure. When you’re in your twenties, it is alright and expected to drink larger amounts.”

Eaton does not see this societal pressure in the way males are expected to dress while socially drinking, contrary to the pressures many women report to feeling.

“Usually when I go to the bar, it’s after a long day of school and work. The last thing I want to do is dress up to go to the bar, so jeans and a hoodie it is for me,” said the senior. “For the men who do ‘dress up’, the code seems to be jeans and a button-down flannel. It’s nothing too outrageous.”

Eaton said he feels that many proposed gendered schemas involved with nights out at the bar might not be as prevalent in the millennial generation. He does note, however, there may be a few instances where gender might still play a role.

“If you are in a relationship, the guy might pay for the cover or for a drink or two and, at the end of the night, it’s typical to make sure your female friends have someone to walk them home,” he explained. “Other than that, there aren’t really too many situations that come to mind.”