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Binge Drinking and Risky Sex among College Students

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  • Jeffrey S. DeSimone

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.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15953.

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Date of creation: Apr 2010
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15953

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  1. Carpenter, Christopher, 2005. "Youth alcohol use and risky sexual behavior: evidence from underage drunk driving laws," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 613-628, May.
  2. Bisakha Sen, 2003. "Can Beer Taxes Affect Teen Pregnancy? Evidence Based on Teen Abortion Rates and Birth Rates," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 70(2), pages 328-343, October.
  3. Phillip Farrell & Victor R. Fuchs, 1983. "Schooling and Health: The Cigarette Connection," NBER Working Papers 0768, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Rashad, Inas & Kaestner, Robert, 2004. "Teenage sex, drugs and alcohol use: problems identifying the cause of risky behaviors," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 493-503, May.
  5. Sen, Bisakha, 2002. "Does alcohol-use increase the risk of sexual intercourse among adolescents? Evidence from the NLSY97," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 1085-1093, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Jeffrey S. DeSimone, 2010. "Binge Drinking & Sex in High School," NBER Working Papers 16132, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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