Binge drinking (5+ alcoholic beverages at one time) is associated with risky sexual behaviors. A new study is one of the few to examine this association by gender in an urban clinic for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
Results show that binge drinking among women attending the clinic was linked to unsafe sexual practices – such as multiple partners and anal sex – and high rates of gonorrhea.
"The link between binge drinking and risky sexual behavior is complex," said Heidi E. Hutton, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine as well as corresponding author for the study. "We wanted to examine one component of that relationship, whether binge drinking increased the risk of engaging in sexual behaviors and having STDs. We found gender differences in binge drinking among patients at an STD clinic, and also that binge drinking increased STD risk for women."