Is the Path to Gambling Addiction Faster for Men or Women? [Research]

Does gender make a difference when it comes to how quickly an addiction, like compulsive gambling, progresses? For years, study results suggested women were likely to move from initial use or experience to addiction more quickly than men. However, the findings of a recent study now suggest that men may develop problem gambling faster than women.

Telescoping is a term that describes the fast rate at which a person or group transitions from first use to full-blown addiction. For example, studies have found that while women often start out using lower amounts of alcohol than men, they tend to progress more rapidly into abuse and addiction. Previous research suggested that women had a tendency to telescope in gambling disorder as well.

Emerging research, however, suggests telescoping affects men. This study, which was shared on WAGER (The Worldwide Addiction Gambling Education Report), examined data from the Australian Twin Study. Research authors found that men seemed to progress from initial gambling experience to weekly gambling to gambling disorder faster than women.

Why were these findings different than those of previous studies?

As noted in the WAGER article, one possibility is that previous research drew conclusions from those already seeking treatment. In contrast, the new study was based on a sample from the community, which may have been more representative because many gambling-addicted people don’t seek treatment.

Compulsive gambling doesn’t discriminate based on gender, age, economic status, or ethnic background. Learn more by checking out:

Find prevention resources or help for problem gambling in PA.

If you’re in Lancaster or Lebanon and need help finding gambling addiction resources, contact the Compass Mark team at 717-299-2831 or use our simple online help form. Our assistance is confidential and judgment free.

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