Far from encouraging men to patronise a local pub to escape from domestic duties, marriage actively reduces their alcohol intake, according to research being presented at the American Sociological Association recently.

However, the effect on women of walking down the aisle appears to be the opposite.

The researchers found that married women generally drink more heavily than single women, widows or divorcees.

By contrast, men who are happily married drink less than their bachelor friends and significantly less than divorced men.

The reason, the researchers conclude, is that while women can help keep their husbands’ drinking habits under control, men are simply a bad influence on their wives.

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