July 01, 2001
Meetings & Conventions: Short Cuts July 2001 Current Issue
July 2001
Short Cuts:

Women and gambling

Pathological gamblers are not created equal, and they shouldn’t be treated equally by mental health professionals, according to a study released in May. About one-third are women, and compulsive gambling affects them quite differently than it does men.

Researchers at the University of São Paulo in Brazil found that women gamblers are more likely than males to be single, and they generally start gambling at a significantly later age, often turning to gaming as a way to escape from problems and avoid negative feelings. And they get hooked fast: Compulsive gambling progresses about 2.5 times faster in women than in men.

The study, which compared women and men enrolled in an outpatient program for pathological gambling, underscores the need for additional research and treatment programs tailored specifically toward women, according to a statement by the American Psychiatric Association.

Those who suspect they have a problem should seek professional help. One source of support is Gamblers Anonymous (


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