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Study: More Drinking, Sex in Co-Ed Dorms

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Students living in co-ed dorms are 2.5 times likelier than those living in single-sex dorms to say they binge-drink on a weekly basis, Reuters reported Nov.  24.

Researchers surveyed more than 500 students at five universities across the country on topics such as religion and their impulsivity or extroversion. They found that more than 41 percent of students in co-ed dorms admitted to binge drinking on a weekly basis, compared to less than 18 percent of students living in single-sex housing.

The students in co-ed dorms were also more than twice as likely to admit they had had at least three sexual partners within the previous year.

Brian J. Willoughby, Ph.D., who led the study while at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul and is now teaching at Brigham Young University in Salt Lake City, said that co-ed dorms may have different “social norms” than single-sex dorms. Students who expect co-ed dorms to have higher rates of drinking and sex may be more likely to try to meet those expectations, he said.

“It's not necessarily simply about women and men living together,” Willoughby said.

The study was published in the Journal of American College Health.

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