The objective of this research was an examination of gender differences in alcohol-impaired driving. Attitudes, perceptions and behaviors concerning drinking and driving were compared for male and female California drivers in three random-digit-dialing telephone survey interviews from 1983, 1986 and 1994 (survey response rates of 58%, 52% and 49%, respectively). A moral reasoning framework was applied to account for observed gender differences. Gender differences were examined within aggregate data from the 1983 and 1986 surveys (n = 291), and within the 1994 survey data (n = 608). Self-reported drinking-driving violations showed a substantial decline for both men and women across the survey periods (although violations remained much higher for men), paralleling the well-documented drop in alcohol-related traffic crashes during this time span. Men and women responded equally to the threat of punishment from the legal system (threat of arrest, jail, loss of license, fine, increased insurance), but women were much more responsive to social and internal controls (perceived disapproval from friends, feelings of guilt, violation of a moral standard). These gender differences suggest that women may play an important role in strengthening broad social and moral constraints regarding alcohol-impaired driving. Implications of these findings to deterrence, the effects of sanctions, and social change are discussed.

  • Availability:
  • Corporate Authors:

    Alcohol Research Documentation, Incorporated

    P.O. Box 969
    Piscataway, NJ  United States  08854
  • Authors:
    • Marelich, W D
    • Berger, D E
    • McKenna, R B
  • Publication Date: 2000-5


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: References; Tables;
  • Pagination: p. 396-401
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00797034
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • Report/Paper Numbers: HS-043 053
  • Files: HSL, TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Aug 25 2000 12:00AM