New study: 'Friends Don't Let Jane Hook Up Drunk'
It's Saturday night in some random college town. A group of best friends meet up for several rounds of drinks. One woman in the group (it's unclear if she's on the rebound) keeps locking eyes with a guy at the end of the bar. They have a couple of drinks together, things start to get hot and he invites her to come home with him.
What do her friends do?
Most of the time, they do everything they can to keep her from hooking up with him, according to a new study published in a National Communication Association journal.
Amidst efforts to confront the "hook-up culture" on college campuses and educate students on the dangers of mixing booze and sex, college students are often not given enough credit for taking care of their friends and preventing them from making risky choices, the authors of the study found.
"Our research suggests that the claim that college students routinely engage in risky sexual behavior while intoxicated may be exaggerated," said Linda C. Lederman in a statement. She is a dean at Arizona State University and one of the authors.
The researchers surveyed 141 undergraduate students, asking them hypothetical questions and offering them low- , moderate- and high-risk options. For a question about letting a friend, "Jane," drunkenly leave the bar with a guy she just met:
Just over 39% of students chose option "A. Try to persuade her not to go by reminding her she may regret it" (moderate risk option); 21.4% chose option "B. Wish Jane a fun time" (high risk option); and the remaining 39.3% chose option "C. Make sure Jane gets home safely" (low risk option).
In discussions after the survey, students shared three strategies for persuading a female friend not to go home with a stranger, according to a news release about the research:
Highlight the regret associated with that behavior. Participants said they would remind their friends about the negative health and social consequences associated with going home with someone. These include getting pregnant, developing a bad reputation and regretting their decision in the morning.
Use trickery or deception. Students hold the belief that drunken friends can be easily distracted or exploited. To remove their friends from a risky situation, the participants said they would trick their friends by taking them to get food, or putting them into a cab to go home, instead of going to the male acquaintance's place.
Direct confrontation. To protect their friends from dangerous situations, the study participants said they would directly confront their friends. This includes specifically telling their friends that they need to leave, or physically removing them from the situation.
The research was published in the article "Friends Don't Let Jane Hook Up Drunk: A Qualitative Analysis of Participation in a Simulation of College Drinking-Related Decisions," in the most recent volume of the Communication Education academic journal. You can read more about the research here.
August 24, 2010; 10:51 AM ET
Categories: Night Life | Tags: Arizona State University
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