Study Finds College Age Women Who Use Alcohol and Marijuana Far More Likely to Engage in Unsafe Sex

A new study led by Jumi Hayaki, an associate professor in the department of psychology at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, finds that drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana increases the likelihood of college-age women participating in unsafe sex, more so than is the case for young men.

The study found that when young women drank alcohol and smoked marijuana on the same day, they were more than three times as likely to have unprotected sex than on days when they neither drank or smoked pot. Using either pot or alcohol – but not both – increased the risk of unprotected sex, but at significantly lower levels.

For men, the use of alcohol or marijuana alone had a very small effect on increasing the rate of unprotected sex. The use of both, however, did produce a significant rise in having sex without a condom. But the rate was only about half the rate for women who used both alcohol and marijuana.

Before joining the faculty at Holy Cross, Dr. Hayaki taught at Macalester College and St. Olaf College, both in Minnesota. She is a graduate of Yale University and holds a Ph.D. in psychology from Rutgers University.

The full study, “Dual Use of Alcohol and Marijuana and Condomless Sex in Young Adult Men and Women: A Within‐Subject Day‐Level Analysis,” was published on the website of the American Journal on Addictions. It may be accessed here.

Filed Under: Research/Study


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