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Gender differences in risk and protective factors for problem gambling
chapterposted on 2017-01-01, 00:00 authored by Nicki DowlingNicki Dowling, Erin OldenhofErin Oldenhof
Historically, the prevailing cultural view of gambling is that of a stereotypically masculine activity. Legislative changes involving the expansion of the gaming industry, however, have signicantly altered the male-dominated gambling culture. In Australia, the introduction and proliferation of electronic gaming machines (EGMs) in casinos and suburban venues in the early 1990s contributed to a narrowing margin between the prevalence of male and female problem gambling.1 In 1991, females comprised 14% of Australian problem gamblers2 compared with 40% in 1999.3 The most recent national gambling prevalence survey estimates indicate that women now comprise 52% of past year gamblers, 27% of low risk gamblers, 48% of moderate risk gamblers, and 33% of problem gamblers.4 These epidemiological ndings likely reect a cohort phenomenon, whereby younger women are exposed to more gambling opportunities.5 Explanations for the emergence of women as problem gamblers are generally located in gender dierences in gambling motivations and triggers, sociological factors, and situational and structural characteristics of electronic gaming.1 Despite the growing body of evidence indicating that the rate of female problem gambling has increased, there continues to be a masculine research bias and concern that the ndings relevant to male problem gambling are not generalisable to female problem gambling.6,7 There is, therefore, a clear need to explore gender dierences in the epidemiology and determinants of problem gambling.