Binge Drinking Of Women In College Associated With Sexual Assault Risk

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Drinking alcohol has already known detriments attached to it, in terms of physical health. However, many teens nowadays are still and become inclined to this habit. Most of young women who were not fond of drinking alcohol when they were in high school may change their behavior when they enter college. Moreover, those who are binge drinkers can be classified high risk of sexual assault, cited from the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs January issue.

Drinking has always been common in college years. Nonetheless, there is not much information about the transition of drinking habits during the high school years to the college years of young women.

The researchers monitored 437 female students from high school graduation to the first year in college.  They discovered that nearly half of women (who never drank heavily in high school) affirmed their engagement to heavy episodic drinking, known as binge drinking, at least once by the end of the first semester in college. Furthermore, those who were already inclined in binge drinking in high school continued such habit in the same level in college. Importantly, it was found out that binge drinking was associated with the women’s high risk of sexual assault, regardless of what their high school drinking habits were.

Twenty five percent of young women whose biggest binge was 4-6 drinks admitted that they had experienced sexual victimization, characterized by unwanted sexual contact and rape, in the fall semester. Moreover, it was deduced from the investigation that the more the alcohol those binges involved, the higher the probability of sexual assault. Fifty nine percent of women (who consumed 10 or more drinks in one sitting) were sexually abused by the end of the first semester. The perpetrator of this abuse has the burden of being at fault. Nonetheless, the colleges and universities can make appropriate action to decrease this unbeneficial behavior of heavy episodic drinking. Their action can gradually avoid instances of sexual assaults.

Maria Testa, lead researcher and senior scientist at UB’s Research Institute on Addictions, emphasized the necessity of starting drinking-prevention efforts prior to college. She added that even those women who never drank in high school can be susceptible to heavy drinking when they are already in college.

Importantly, Testa stressed out the critical role of parents in preventing these assaults. They should talk with their children regarding alcohol drinking before they enter college. Their guidance should remain even when they are already in college.




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