Thursday, September 4, 2008

Women who binge drink at greater risk of unsafe sex and sexually transmitted disease

Binge drinking (5+ alcoholic beverages at one time) is associated with risky sexual behaviors. A new study is one of the few to examine this association by gender in an urban clinic for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

Results show that binge drinking among women attending the clinic was linked to unsafe sexual practices – such as multiple partners and anal sex – and high rates of gonorrhea.

Results will be published in the November issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research and are currently available at Early View.

"The link between binge drinking and risky sexual behavior is complex," said Heidi E. Hutton, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine as well as corresponding author for the study. "We wanted to examine one component of that relationship, whether binge drinking increased the risk of engaging in sexual behaviors and having STDs. We found gender differences in binge drinking among patients at an STD clinic, and also that binge drinking increased STD risk for women."

"Binge drinking results in a decreased ability to make clear decisions," noted Geetanjali Chander, assistant professor of medicine in the division of general internal medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, "and can enable individuals to engage in behaviors that they would not if sober. Initially, some individuals may drink with the expectation of decreasing inhibitions, or some may drink because they are anxious, or depressed, and they expect alcohol to alleviate their symptoms. Regardless of why they choose to drink, many people do not perceive the potential risk or harm that may result from binge drinking."

Between July 2000 and August 2001, researchers approached 795 STD-clinic patients being evaluated/ treated for STDs. Of those approached, 671 (322 males, 349 females; 95% African American, 83% heterosexual) agreed to answer questions about their recent alcohol/drug use and risky sexual behaviors using audio computer-assisted-self interview technology. The association between binge drinking and sexual behaviors/STDs was then analyzed, adjusting for age, employment, and drug use.

"We found that binge drinking among women STD-clinic patients is associated with certain risky sexual behaviors," said Hutton. "Across gender, women binge drinkers are more likely to have anal sex than men binge drinkers.

Within gender, women binge drinkers are three times as likely to have anal sex, and twice as likely to have multiple sex partners compared to women who do not drink alcohol.

Compared to non-drinking women, women binge drinkers are also five times as likely to have gonorrhea."

Read the whole thing here.

1 comment:

Best Sex Guide said...

Wow, nice stats! I would have never guessing this, but now after reading this information I can see this. I don't know any binge drinking women, but I have seen women go to bars socially have a few drinks, as I'm usually there a bit I see them leave with different guys all the time, that they have just met.

So I think it is just drinking in general. Although I've seen some "sluts" at the bars, which their sole purpose for even going there was to get laid that night.

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