Binge Drinking and Risky Sex Among College Students

38 Pages Posted: 3 May 2010 Last revised: 6 Aug 2010

See all articles by Jeffrey S. DeSimone

Jeffrey S. DeSimone

University of Texas at Arlington - College of Business Administration - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: April 2010

Abstract

This study examines the relationship between binge drinking and sexual behavior in nationally representative data on age 18-24 four-year college students. For having sex, overall or without condoms, large and significant positive associations are eliminated upon holding constant proxies for time-invariant sexual activity and drinking preferences. However, strong relationships persist for sex with multiple recent partners, overall and without condoms, even controlling for substance use, risk aversion, mental health, sports participation, and sexual activity frequency. Promiscuity is unrelated with non-binge drinking but even more strongly related with binge drinking on multiple occasions. Results from a rudimentary instrumental variables strategy and accounting for whether sex is immediately preceded by alcohol use suggest that binge drinking directly leads to risky sex. Some binge drinking-induced promiscuity seems to occur among students, especially males, involved in long-term relationships. Effects are concentrated among non-Hispanic whites and are not apparent for students in two-year schools.

Suggested Citation

DeSimone, Jeffrey S., Binge Drinking and Risky Sex Among College Students (April 2010). NBER Working Paper No. w15953. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1598069

Jeffrey S. DeSimone (Contact Author)

University of Texas at Arlington - College of Business Administration - Department of Economics ( email )

Box 19479 UTA
Arlington, TX 76019
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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