College Students, Sexual Orientation and Alcohol Abuse

by Lorraine on June 28, 2012

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Sexual Orientation and Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol Abuse Higher among Bisexuals

Different factors in an individual’s life, such as life experiences and personality, can affect drinking habits. One new study has shown that a person’s sexual preference may affect their alcohol consumption.

Amelia Tally, PhD, assistant professor of psychological sciences in the College of Arts and Science at the University of Missouri, followed more than 2,000 incoming college freshmen throughout their four year college career. The students were surveyed regarding their sexual self-identification, attraction and sexual behavior. The students were categorized in the following sexual orientation groups: exclusively heterosexual, exclusively homosexual, mostly homosexual, bisexual and mostly heterosexual. Twice a year the students participating in the study were asked about their alcohol use, their reasons for consuming alcohol and any negative consequences related to their alcohol consumption.

The results of the study showed that students who identified themselves as exclusively homosexual or heterosexual had similar drinking rates and similar motivation behind drinking habits, whereas those students in the “minority groups,” bisexuality, mostly homosexual or mostly heterosexual, reported heavier drinking with the most negative consequences experienced due to their drinking. Those in the “minority groups” stated that stress, anxiety and depression were the reasons for their drinking as they felt ostracized for not having a firmly defined sexual identity.

This study shows that those students who haven’t defined their sexual orientation may be using alcohol as a way to cope with all of the changes and challenges in college, making them susceptible to alcohol addiction.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction it is time to make a change in your life. Get help now before consequences from addiction put your life, career, relationships and commitments in jeopardy. Attending an alcohol and drug rehab facility will give you the best chance to turn your life around and prevent further damage done by substance abuse. Call an Addiction 411 coordinator today to speak with one of our addiction specialists. Our trained staff will help you find the best treatment center to fit your needs.