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Has there been a "feminization" of gambling and problem gambling in the United States?

Rachel A. Volberg

Abstract


This paper examines the question of whether there has been a "feminization" of gambling and problem gambling in the United States. Feminization refers to the idea that more women are gambling, developing problems and seeking help for problems related to gambling than in the past. Data from a theoretically derived sample of four states are examined to identify patterns in the distribution of gambling participation and the prevalence of problem gambling in the general population. Despite widespread acceptance of the notion of the feminization of gambling and problem gambling, men remain significantly more likely than women to participate regularly in most types of gambling. Most gambling activities remain highly gendered; however, in the United States, the widespread introduction of gaming machines is associated with increases in gambling and problem gambling among women. The present analysis highlights the importance of taking socio-demographic characteristics besides gender into account when considering the distribution of gambling and problem gambling in the general population.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4309/jgi.2003.8.7

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