Alcohol use disorder or AUD diminishes men’s ability to process their emotions. This effect isn’t as significant in women.

Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine used MRIs to analyze brain activity in individuals with AUD. They found that the experiences and mechanisms of AUD are different for the two genders.

Specifically, the team found that brain activity in certain areas of the brain was weaker in men than women. These areas were associated with processing one’s emotions and moving past stressful events.

Men and women currently receive the same treatment for AUD. This study suggests the need for developing gender-specific treatment.


Sawyer, K., Maleki, N., & Urban, T. (2019, April 30). Alcoholism gender differences in brain responsivity to emotional stimuli. eLife. Retrieved from