Binge-drinking women and condom use

Young women who binge drink may become less likely to choose to engage in safe sexual practices, new findings have suggested. Published in the Journal of Sex Research, the study showed females in the US use condoms less frequently as their first year of college rolls on.

And according to the investigation, this trend is particularly true for ladies who imbibe large amounts of alcohol, who are from lower socioeconomic backgrounds or are less up-to-speed in the classroom.

Jennifer Walsh, a researcher at the Centres for Behavioural and Preventive Medicine in the Miriam Hospital - which has a history stretching back to 1907 - noted being able to identify changes in behaviour and attitudes relating to safe sex can enable more targeted educational efforts to be developed.

She stated: "College women often engage in serial monogamy, resulting in multiple partners during the college years and they are often unaware of their partners' risk."

Katherine Brown, Chartered Psychologist, commented: "There are many factors which are likely to influence the decision to use a condom, but our emerging research points to the importance of affective or emotion-led beliefs about the outcomes of condom use.

"Put simply, if you believe that using a condom can be a fun part of having sex, or makes you seem like a caring and responsible person and you value those things highly, you are more likely to want to use condoms and actually use them.

"People with more hedonistic tendencies who engage in greater levels of binge drinking, are less hard-working or academic at college or come from backgrounds where such behaviours are re-enforced in some way, may be less likely to view condom use positively and less likely to engage in consistent use."

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