Harmful effects of alcohol on sexual behaviour in a New Zealand university community.
The prevalence of hazardous drinking among university students in New Zealand is very high, but the impacts on sexual behaviour are largely unknown.
The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of alcohol-related risky and unwanted sexual experiences.
We conducted a web-based survey of a random sample of university students, asking about specific experiences resulting from their own drinking or the drinking of others, and some beliefs about drinking.
A total of 1564 students responded (82%) and the following were reported as the result of drinking, by women and men, in the last 3 months:
- unprotected sex, women 11% and men 15%;
- sex they were not happy with at the time, women 6% and men 7%;
- sex later regretted, women 16% and men 19%.
- Also, 34% of women and 25% of men reported unwanted sexual advances in the past 4 weeks as a result of other people’s drinking.
These experiences were all associated positively with Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) scores of the respondents, certain types of living arrangements and specific attitudes to drinking.
In addition, 1% of women and 0.5% of men reported sexual assault in the past 4 weeks.