An interesting new study is showing that college students who are bisexual or those who are uncertain about their sexuality are more likely to abuse alcohol than their homosexual and heterosexual peers. What’s the research behind this study and how can this help budding bisexuals in their experimental college years? Read on and find out.
Results from this study can help create better support for bisexuals.
The study, done by the University of Missouri researchers focuses in on students whose sexual self-definition didn’t fall into exclusively heterosexual or homosexual categories. The findings show that these people tended to misuse alcohol more than people who had a defined sexual orientation. With the results from this research there can be new programs aimed at improving support for sexual minorities.
What the study found.
According to Amelia Talley, MU assistant professor of psychological sciences in the College of Arts and Science the study revealed that bisexuals feel the need to drink heavily to relieve the stress and anxiety around their sexuality.
“Bisexuals and students whose sexual orientation was in flux reported the heaviest drinking and most negative consequences from alcohol use, such as uncontrolled drinking and withdrawal symptoms,” …”Those groups reported drinking to relieve anxiety and depression at higher rates than strictly heterosexual or homosexual individuals.”
Gay and straight people drink at the same rate.
The results of the study also showed that exclusively homosexual and heterosexual persons drank at the same rate and reported drinking for social reasons, rather than to medicate emotional distress. The other sexual minority groups reported more alcohol misuse. The stressful process of developing one’s sexual identity may be what is contributing to alcohol abuse, just as people in any difficult situation in life may turn to drinking to calm stress.
How to help someone who is drinking too much.
As this study shows, there is more than one reason for why people overindulge in alcohol in their college years and beyond. One of the best ways to help someone who has a drinking problem is to let them know that you accept them for who they are, but that you like who they are better when they are sober. Don’t drink with them and don’t cover for them because that’s enabling their behavior. For more on how to help someone who is drinking too much. click here.
Remember, if you or someone you care about is drinking to cover feelings, instead of just to have a good time, it may be time to find support for the issues you are dealing with.