Study Finds That for College-Age Women, Alcohol Significantly Increases the Risk of Unprotected Sex

A new study by researchers at the University of Cincinnati and Texas Tech University finds an alarmingly high rate of unprotected sex among college-age women who drink alcohol.

The study found that 40 percent of women ages 18 to 24 have more than three drinks per day. And the survey found that 66.9 percent of college-age women reported that they had unprotected sex the last time they had sex when they had been drinking alcohol.

BrownJennifer Brown, an associate professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral neuroscience at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and lead author of the study, stated that “most young women reported levels of heavy drinking prior to sex, which can impair their cognitive functioning and decision-making. These findings underscore the need to examine the associations between alcohol consumption and sexual risk-taking. Understanding the factors that may underlie the association between alcohol and condomless sex among young women is of considerable public health importance.”

Dr. Brown joined the faculty at the University of Cincinnati in 2015 after teaching at Texas Tech University in Lubbock. She is a graduate of Ohio Dominican University in Columbus and holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the Syracuse University in New York.

The study, “Young Women’s Alcohol Expectancies for Sexual Risk-Taking Mediate the Link Between Sexual Enhancement Motives and Condomless Sex When Drinking,” was published on the website of the Journal of Behavioral Medicine. It may be accessed here.

Filed Under: Research/Study


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