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Risky sexual behavior in college students


December 20, Health and Science. She blamed herself for drinking too much the night she was sexually assaulted. She blamed herself for losing the man she once called the love of her life, the man who accused her of cheating on him the night of the assault. She knew he was wrong but accepted the blame. So she started drinking more. With each drink, she swallowed her blame, not knowing yet that she was a problem drinker, a label she now places upon herself.

As a pre-med Risky sexual behavior in college students with a near-perfect GPA and multiple extracurricular activities, including a volunteer gig at the hospital, she felt she had earned the right to let loose. So she would slam back a shot at the pregame party, then toss back a second and a third, a fourth and a fifth. Researchers across the country are developing ways to help students view their alcohol use and the associated sexual Risky sexual behavior in college students in more realistic ways.

That research shows that helping students compare their drinking and risky sexual behaviors to peer norms can reduce both types of unhealthy behaviors.

She is developing a brief web-based intervention that would help educate first-year college students, which she plans to offer for free one day. By offering a free program, Lewis hopes to get empirically supported alcohol and sexual risk interventions into the hands of college administrators.

She calls this bridging the gap between administrators and researchers. The act requires federally funded institutions to train students on how to identify and report sexual misconduct and to promote awareness of rape, acquaintance rape, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking through prevention and awareness programs. On a typical night of drinking, after getting to the black-out level of drunkenness, she would go home with a guy.

It made sense to her. In fact, going home with someone was the goal drinking helped her achieve. The guy was drunk. And she was on birth control, so she felt she as acting responsibly.

Eventually, that pattern of behavior left her with a herpes infection. Meyers now has a new form of self-shame. She blames herself for the virus that will haunt her cells for the rest of her life. Excessive drinking increases the odds of risky sexual behaviors, which ranges from having multiple casual partners, to unprotected sex, to situations involving sexual assault. As with excessive drinking, college students tend to assume that risky sexual behavior is normative.

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