A new report, The Gender Pint Gap, by YouGov for the female beer group Dea Latis, shows women's attitudes towards beer haven't changed in nearly a decade.
Sexist marketing, fear of a "beer belly" and negative perceptions around the taste are said to be the biggest contributing factors to the fact that the UK has one of the lowest percentages of female beer drinkers in the world.
The research found that, despite the revolution in the beer scene and the boom in craft beer – often lauded as more female-friendly – only 17 per cent of women drink beer at least once a week, compared to 53 per cent of men.
Other findings include:
- Male oriented advertising is one of the three main barriers for over a quarter (27 per cent) of women drinking beer – rising even higher for the 18 to 24 year-old female group to almost half (48 per cent).
- A fifth of women (20 per cent) say that high calorie content is one of the three main barriers for women drinking beer.
- 17 per cent of women feel that 'being judged by others' is one of the three biggest barriers to drinking beer.
- Taste is the great divide: Of the women who drink beer 56 per cent do so because they like the taste; conversely, of the women who never drink beer 83 per cent do so because they don't like the taste.
It's not all bad news though, as the research suggests that, compared to a study done nine years ago, more women drink beer at home than before (32 per cent of women now versus three per cent in 2009).
One of the report's co-authors, Lisa Harlow, said: "Our research has shown many misconceptions which women still hold about beer, such as calorific content, self-image and pre-conceptions about taste.
"It was disheartening in our supposedly enlightened times that so many of our female respondents cited 'being judged by others' as a reason for not drinking beer. Perhaps we need some high-profile celebrity advocates to show women that it is acceptable to drink beer?"
The report concludes with a Beer Drinking Women's Manifesto which urges women who drink beer to become advocates; encouraging sampling, asking for different volumes and glassware and dispelling myths about calories and acceptability.
Dea Latis is a group set up to inform and educate women about beer and to choose beer as a drink of choice, if you want to get involved check out the website.