All you ladies who so love binge drinking on weekends, here’s some scary piece of information. Female binge-drinking has been linked to unsafe sexual behaviour. The latest research suggests that women who tend to go overboard in gulping those drinks are increasing their chances of indulgence in unsafe sexual practices.
An analysis of data collected from 671 STD-clinic patients being evaluated or treated for STDs which included 322 males and 349 females was conducted by researchers at the John Hopkins University Medical School in Baltimore. Using audio computer assisted self interview technology; the participants were asked an array of questions. Questions included knowledge of recent alcohol or drug use and risky sexual behaviours.
Geetanjali Chander, assistant professor of medicine in the division of general internal medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, mentioned, “Binge drinking results in a decreased ability to make clear decisions and can enable individuals to engage in behaviours that they would not if sober.”
She further added, “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.”
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, additionally commented, “We found that binge drinking among women STD-clinic patients is associated with certain risky sexual behaviors. 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.”
The researchers were surprised to find that women who indulge in more than five alcoholic beverages at one go are at an increased risk of having unsafe sex. The sexual activities could include multiple partners and anal sex which may subsequently increase their chances of having sexually transmitted diseases (STD) like Chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis. Even after adjusting for factors like age, employment, and drug use experts found that binge drinking among women has a significant association with risky sexual behaviors and sexually transmitted infections.
Additionally, the study discovered that compared to non-drinking women, women binge drinkers were also five times as likely to have gonorrhea, a disease caused by sexually transmitted bacteria.
Other than sexual malpractices, binge drinking is widely known to induce many other health harming consequences. Experts thus suggest that bingeing women could actually be putting themselves at a great risk. They indicate that along with youth alcohol patterns even adult alcohol patterns need to be taken seriously.
The study is due to be published in the November 2008 issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.