Health: Why Men Can Outdrink Women

It's not a matter of macho, but of enzymes

It is a familiar refrain at parties and in bars: women just can't hold their liquor. They are quicker to get giddy, and they stay drunk longer than men matching them drink for drink. For years, the difference was attributed to gross anatomy: On average, women are smaller than men, and thus alcohol gets into their tissues more rapidly. And because they carry proportionately more fat and less water in their bodies, liquor is diluted more gradually, prolonging its heady effects.

But that explanation has never been completely convincing, either to scientists or to laymen. It fails to explain fully why...

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