ONE THIRD BINGE DRINK BEFORE SEX , SURVEY FINDS
Irish Examiner 12/04/2007
ALMOST one third of people surveyed for a new study into the relationship between alcohol and casual sex said they engaged in binge drinking before having sex.
The survey of 145 adults aged 19 to 31 years uncovered a number of trends regarding the influence of alcohol consumption and casual sex.
- Some 40% reported drinking prior to sex
- Drinking was more frequent among those reporting sex with a casual or new partner, than with a steady partner – 69% vs 20%
- 60% did not drink prior to a sexual episode
- 31% reported binge drinking prior to sex, in which six or more drinks were consumed.
These were among the preliminary findings of an ongoing study entitled Alcohol, Unsafe Sex and Young Adults, by Grainne Cousins and Prof Hannah Mc Gee of the population health sciences division of the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland .
These findings will be presented at a conference on psychology, health and medicine at NUI Maynooth tomorrow on the 13th of April.
The study has found that most respondents found that drink made them feel less inhibited and that it plays a significant role in casual sex. However, drink is less influential in long term relationships.
Research also indicated that those Engaging in binge drinking prior to sex were less likely to use a condom.
- Some 92% of those who had between up to five drinks used a condom.
- 59% of those who consumed six drinks of more used contraception.
Condom use was also more likely with a casual or new partner if the person had a third-level education (86%), compared with just 50% for those with a Leaving Certificate of less. Worryingly, of those engaging in sex with a steady partner and not using a condom, 60% did not know if their partner was ever tested for sexually transmitted infections.
“These findings highlight the complexity of the alcohol/condom relationship” Grainne Cousins said. “More sophisticated health promotion campaigns may be needed as the simplistic warning that “ alcohol results in risky casual sex” may paradoxically increase the likelihood of unsafe casual sex when intoxicated.”