Binge drinking 2

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorUniversity, Bachelor's February 2008

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It's just another Friday night, but this time it's the guy's night out. What do many teenage boys have on their mind? They want to go cruising down the highway at 80 miles per hour with the windows down. Find some beer, and some women that they can get drunk, have sex with and have something to tell about the next day. The sad thing is, that most of the time it is true. A survey was taken in Nebraska in September of 1995, which said 25.7% of adolescents aged 18 and younger said, they have used alcohol before having sex. That is just in Nebraska alone (Courtney, 288, 1995). It is also said that Fraternity and Sorority members drink more and drink more frequently than their peers and accept as normal high levels of alcohol consumption and associated problems. Fraternity-sponsored parties also may encourage heavy drinking. Studies have found that students who consider parties or athletics important and those who drink to get drunk appear most likely to binge drink or to drink heavily (Shalala, 1, 1995).

Although alcohol use by adolescents is frequent, alcoholism is very rare. Still, alcohol consumption by adolescents hinders normal development. Alcohol intake by children can result in learning impairment, hyperactivity, and personality and behavior problems, because today's society has accepted the casual use of alcohol (Effects, 1996, 1). Among men, research suggests that greater alcohol use is related to greater sexual aggression (Shalala, 1995, 2). Students living on campuses with higher proportions of binge drinkers experience more incidents of assault and unwanted sexual advances because of their peers' drinking than do students residing on campuses with lower proportions of binge drinkers (Shalala, 1995, 2). Some campuses sponsor alcohol awareness events and classroom lectures and distribute information about alcohol use. Although such education programs raise students' awareness of issues surrounding alcohol use, these programs appear to have minimal effect on drinking and on the rates of alcohol problems.

According to Donna E. Shalala, Secretary of Health and Human Services at The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, it seems that binge drinkers appear to engage in more unplanned sexual activity and to abandon safe sex techniques more often than students who do not binge drink (Shalala, 1995, 2). The purpose of this paper will prove whether or not Ms. Shalala is right or wrong.

The first study was done in 1992. The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship of alcohol use to unsafe sex in Latinas. The study was conducted using telephone interviews. The interviews were conducted with 523 currently sexually active Latinas aged 18-49 years old. The telephone survey employed a modified Mitofsky-Waksberg sampling technique to identify Latino households in nine states with concentrations of Latinos ranging from 5 to 39% in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, California, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas. Latinos in these states represent 77% of all United States Latinos (Marín, 1992, 1103).

The screening procedure involved identifying the ethnicity, gender, and age of household members. Potential respondents were asked "Do you or any of the members of your household consider yourselves to be Latinos or Hispanics?" An eligible respondent in the household was selected using the Kish method, which lists all adult household members and then uses one of 12 possible selection schemes to randomly select among those eligible (Marín, 1992, 1104). Interviewers were bilingual males and females. Experienced interviewers recruited respondents by telling them this was a national health survey and that the topic was AIDS. Interviewers received specific training on how to ask the highly personal questions used in this research (Marín, 1992, 1104).

A response rate in survey sampling can be defined as the ratio of the number of questionnaires completed of eligible elements to the number of eligible elements in the sample. Businesses, faxes, and non households were ineligible for reporting. After these were eliminated, age and gender of adults in the household was determined for 67.1% of eligible telephone numbers. Also 86.4% of those contacted who met the requirements for the study provided complete interviews. A response rate of 58% for the entire sample was obtained (Marín, 1992, 1104-5). The interviews were 100 open-ended calls, and two gender exclusive focus groups with Latinos and Latinas in San Francisco. Its purpose was to identify perceived consequences of condom use with secondary and primary partners, difficulties with condom use, and the average aspects of use. The final version of the interview took an average of 24 minutes to complete and explored a variety of topics related to condoms and sexual behavior. The questions mainly asked about alcohol use prior to sex, sexual comfort, self-effectiveness scale, secondary partner response to condom use, and acculturation (Marín, 1992, 1105).

Of the 624 Latinas aged 18-49 interviewed in this study, 523 (83.8%) were sexually active. These women provided responses to the question about alcohol use prior to sex. Fully 65% indicated that they never used alcohol prior to sex, 28% said they used alcohol less than half the time, and only 7.5% used alcohol half the time or more (Marín, 1992, 1106). The demographic characteristics of Latinas who use or do not use alcohol before sex are shown in the table below. There were a number of differences between the groups. Alcohol users were younger [t(519) = 2.3, p