Recent (Not So Good) News on College Students and Alcohol

Jim Liebelt

A couple of news items in the past few weeks on college students and drinking reveal some negative behaviors and attitudes. There was one positive note: College males aren't particularly interested in females who typify a "Girls Gone Wild" stereotype.

College Freshmen Study Booze More Than Books

Nearly half of college freshmen who drink alcohol spend more time drinking each week than they do studying, suggests a survey involving more than 30,000 first-year students on 76 campuses who took an online alcohol education course last fall.

Students who said they had at least one drink in the past 14 days spent an average 10.2 hours a week drinking, and averaged about 8.4 hours a week studying, according to findings recently presented at a conference in Seattle for campus student affairs officials. Nearly 70% of respondents (20,801 students) said they drank. Of those, 49.4% spent more time drinking than studying.

Source: USA Today

College Guys Want Girls to Curb Drinking, While Girls Think More Alcohol Makes Themselves More Attractive
The naughty cachet of "Girls Gone Wild" - inebriated coeds on spring break - has lost its luster. That naughty cachet is a myth, essentially.

"When it comes to drinking, college men are not looking for the girl gone wild," said a new study from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

That's not what the girls think, however. Most are under the impression that their male friends are more attracted to girls who have had a few, and then some.

"Our research suggests women believe men find excessive drinking sexually attractive and appealing, but it appears this is a giant misperception," said lead author Joseph LaBrie, an associate professor of psychology at the campus.

His study, based on a survey of 3,616 students at his own school and the University of Washington, found that 71 percent of the girls overestimated the amount of alcohol that the typical college man hoped his girlfriend or date would consume. More than a fourth - 26 percent - thought the menfolk wanted their female companions to consume five drinks or more.

That was not the case.

"Both estimates were nearly double what the men actually preferred," said the study, which was published in Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, an academic journal of the American Psychological Association.

The young women drank "in pursuit of intimate relationships and positive attention from their male peers," the research found. It recommended that college campuses and public health organizations develop distinctly "female-targeted interventions" to reverse the trend.

"Although traditionally, men drink more than women, research has shown that women have steadily been drinking more and more over the last several decades," Mr. LaBrie said.

Indeed, the feminine alcohol factor is on the increase, according to a number of sources.

Binge drinking is up 22 percent in college women - double the increase in men, according to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University. Women typically consume 10 drinks a day during their spring-break festivities, said another study by the Journal of American College Health.

Source: The Washington Times