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New study: 'Friends Don't Let Jane Hook Up Drunk'

Jenna Johnson

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.

Campus Overload is a daily must-read for all college students. Make sure to bookmark http://washingtonpost.com/campus-overload. You can also follow me on Twitter and fan Campus Overload on Facebook.

By Jenna Johnson  |  August 24, 2010; 10:51 AM ET
Categories:  Night Life  | Tags: Arizona State University  
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Comments

haterz

Posted by: PVGtownAz | August 24, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

This study relies to heavily on a hypothetical survey rather than real situations. It also only deals with "random" hook-ups. What about casual sexual activity between two people who are casually acquainted, which wouldn't produce as much concern from friends?

Posted by: bokamba | August 24, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

and why is it wrong to get drunk and hook up? it sounds like 78.3% of the people who took the survey either weren't real friends or have control problems...

Posted by: ipa24 | August 24, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

No need for the study. The term "cock-block" is pretty well known by all guys and most women.

Posted by: thedoo-da-man | August 24, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

and why is it wrong to get drunk and hook up? it sounds like 78.3% of the people who took the survey either weren't real friends or have control problems...

Posted by: ipa24
====================================

You must either be a man, or a very stupid woman.
Women who get drunk and hook up with a stranger/male are taking the risk of being raped, beaten, and/or murdered. Men who use women are looking for drunk women to coerce/force them to have sex with them. Women are more likely to be a victum when drunk out of their minds. What kind of man takes a drunk woman home for sex anyway?
A predator and probably a dangerous man.

Posted by: rickshawjim | August 25, 2010 12:19 AM | Report abuse

and why is it wrong to get drunk and hook up? it sounds like 78.3% of the people who took the survey either weren't real friends or have control problems...

Posted by: ipa24
====================================

You must either be a man, or a very stupid woman.
Women who get drunk and hook up with a stranger/male are taking the risk of being raped, beaten, and/or murdered. Men who use women are looking for drunk women to coerce/force them to have sex with them. Women are more likely to be a victum when drunk out of their minds. What kind of man takes a drunk woman home for sex anyway?
A predator and probably a dangerous man.

Posted by: rickshawjim | August 25, 2010 12:20 AM | Report abuse

You must either be a man, or a very stupid woman.
Women who get drunk and hook up with a stranger/male are taking the risk of being raped, beaten, and/or murdered. Men who use women are looking for drunk women to coerce/force them to have sex with them. Women are more likely to be a victum when drunk out of their minds. What kind of man takes a drunk woman home for sex anyway?
A predator and probably a dangerous man.


Posted by: rickshawjim | August 25, 2010 12:19 AM | Report abuse

Eh Jesus, that saddest part about this post is that it looks like a guy wrote it. Dude, it's not 1991 anymore. Knock it off. The problem for college women and hooking up is not the possibility of being raped or murdered. The chances of that happening are tiny, and you know it. The problem is in feeling cheap the next morning. (Guys don't feel this way, not because they're evil but because they are inherently different from girls.) Lay off the tired old cliches, will ya?

Posted by: CaughtInAMosh | August 25, 2010 12:36 AM | Report abuse

The 'hook-up' culture isn't the dying trend I believe the writer was trying to say it was.
I think most of the 'hook-ups' occur within their existing circle of "friends", rather than with random strangers. But they do still occur, and STD rates are still way too high.

Posted by: momof20yo | August 25, 2010 7:06 AM | Report abuse

Aside from comments made by other authors, I have a pretty hard time believing that 141 students can make a representative sample of the nation's university population. That's fewer than 3 students per state. But, as it turns out, the author's didn't even go beyond their university: following the link, I find that they surveyed "141 undergraduate students from nine different classes."

I know standards for publishing scholarly articles have declined, but when you can research 141 students at your university, then headline a major national newspaper, things have gotten really bad.

Posted by: exile_from_virginia | August 25, 2010 7:48 AM | Report abuse

To elaborate: especially when the results are not that out of line with what is expected. 1/5 young adults wish their drunk friends a good time with a random stranger.

I feel better already...

Posted by: exile_from_virginia | August 25, 2010 7:50 AM | Report abuse


I am amazed at the idea of the hook up culture at all. I came of age in the late 1960's and saw what the sexual revolution did for women, which wasn't much. At least in the messages of that day there was the countervailing one of "you don't have to shave your armpits or legs to please a man" to the other of "you can have sex just like a man". Now young women shave everywhere just to fit a bizarre notion of human sexuality that males pick up from the internet.

Girls, it is better to stay true to your innermost feelings until you find someone different from the crowd of ineffectual young men that abide in great numbers today.

Posted by: edbyronadams | August 25, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

I am so glad I went to college when (and where) I did.

Posted by: Ralphinjersey | August 25, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

i think the researchers would have a way better feel for their subjects' sexual behavior if they read www.textsfromlastnight.com on a daily basis. just sayin'....

Posted by: natashalynne | August 25, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Drunk, sober, college coed or forty year old divorcee, if her friend has XX chromosomes, she will do everything in her power to keep her from getting laid. Why do you think guys use wingmen? The friend has to be kept busy.

Posted by: caribis | August 25, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

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