Having sex without a condom is considered to be risky because condoms are the only way to protect against Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), including Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). A new study has suggested that undergraduate college students are more likely to have unprotected sex on days they use marijuana or binge on alcohol than on days they do not.
The study said, "Binge drinking and being in a serious dating relationship were linked to less condom use, putting young adults at risk for STIs and unplanned pregnancies."
Study's lead author David Kerr, an associate professor in the school of psychological science at Oregon State University, said, "The findings draw attention to some common but risky sexual behaviors in college students. People may judge risks, such as whether they will regret having sex or whether they should use a condom, differently when they are drunk."
For the study, binge drinking was defined as four or more drinks for women and five or more drinks for men. The researchers recruited 284 college students who reported their marijuana use, alcohol use, sexual activity and condom use every day for 24 consecutive days.
Kerr said, "College students were more likely to have sex on days they used marijuana, but we didn't find a connection between marijuana use and poor condom use."
The study also compared the sexual behavior of college students who were single versus those who were seriously dating someone. Kerr said, "Two findings stood out. Students in serious relationships had almost 90% of the sex reported in our study. But serious partners used a condom only a third of the time, compared to about half the time among single students."
The findings were published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.