Students Drink More Living in Coed Dorms

Jim Liebelt | Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University | Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Students Drink More Living in Coed Dorms

Found this interesting piece... something that parents with teens approaching the college years should keep in mind. For college students, rates of drinking and sexual activity are higher when they live in coed dorms.

In the past 30 years, coed college dormitories have gone from rare to routine, with nearly all students who live on campus now sharing housing with members of the opposite sex.

But a new study suggests that the shift may have had unintended results.

It finds that students in coed dorms are far more likely than those in single-sex dorms to drink alcohol regularly - and nearly 2½ times as likely to drink to excess on a weekly basis.

More than 90% of college dorms today house both sexes, generally separated by floors or building wings, say the study's authors - yet very little research has accompanied the change.

The new findings, they say, suggest that colleges searching for ways to reduce binge drinking and other entrenched behaviors may consider whether the social pressures of coed housing are making matters worse.

These students were more likely to say they'd had a sexual partner in the past year and more likely to think it's all right "for two people to get together for sex and not necessarily expect anything further," the study says.

They were also more likely to say they drink alcohol at least weekly and far more likely to say they drink excessively on a regular basis - 41.5% reported weekly binge drinking. Among students in single-sex housing, the figure was 17.6%.

Source: USA Today