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Binge Drinking & Sex in High School

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  • Jeffrey S. DeSimone

Abstract

This paper estimates the impact of binge drinking on sexual activity among a nationally representative set of high school students during the 1990s and 2000s. The main innovations are explicitly controlling for time-invariant preferences regarding sexual behavior and alcohol use, and eliminating non-drinkers from the comparison group. I find that binge drinking significantly increases participation in sex, promiscuity, and the failure to use birth control, albeit by amounts considerably smaller than implied by merely conditioning on exogenous factors. For all outcomes, impacts rise substantially with binge drinking frequency. Results are similar using alternative comparison groups defined by excluding those who do not exhibit other risky behaviors, and by gender and race/ethnicity, but vary by grade level and over time in different ways for engaging in sex than protective behavior. Effects are much larger for the small fraction of students that has not been taught about AIDS/HIV infection in school.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeffrey S. DeSimone, 2010. "Binge Drinking & Sex in High School," NBER Working Papers 16132, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16132
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Michael Grossman & Robert Kaestner & Sara Markowitz, 2004. "Get High and Get Stupid: The Effect of Alcohol and Marijuana Use on Teen Sexual Behavior," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 2(4), pages 413-441, September.
    2. Anderson, Lisa R. & Mellor, Jennifer M., 2008. "Predicting health behaviors with an experimental measure of risk preference," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 1260-1274, September.
    3. 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.
    4. Michael Grossman & Sarah Markowitz, 2005. "I Did What Last Night? Adolescent Risky Sexual Behaviors and Substance Abuse," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 31(3), pages 383-405, Summer.
    5. Averett Susan L & Rees Daniel I & Duncan Brian & Argys Laura, 2004. "Race, Ethnicity, and Gender Differences in the Relationship Between Substance Use and Adolescent Sexual Behavior," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-34, September.
    6. 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.
    7. Thomas S. Dee, 2001. "The Effects of Minimum Legal Drinking Ages on Teen Childbearing," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 36(4), pages 823-838.
    8. Jeffrey S. DeSimone, 2010. "Binge Drinking and Risky Sex among College Students," NBER Working Papers 15953, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Farrell, Phillip & Fuchs, Victor R. & Fuchs, Victor R., 1982. "Schooling and health : The cigarette connection," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 217-230, December.
    10. 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.
    11. 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.
    12. Rees, Daniel I. & Argys, Laura M. & Averett, Susan L., 2001. "New evidence on the relationship between substance use and adolescent sexual behavior," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(5), pages 835-845, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Camila Galindo, 2012. "Análisis del embarazo y la maternidad durante la adolescencia: diferencias socioeconómicas," REVISTA DESARROLLO Y SOCIEDAD, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE, June.

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    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health

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