Co-ed dorms fuel unhealthy behaviour, sex, drinking

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Washington, Nov 19 (ANI): A new study has revealed that coed dorms, which are more fun than same-sex dorm, can fuel unhealthy behaviour, sex and binge drinking.

The study found that university students in coed housing are 2.5 times more likely to binge drink every week, and that they are also likely to have more sexual partners, and use pornography more.

Some 90 percent of U.S. college dorms are now coed, and the study conducted on 500 students from five college campuses showed that 42 percent of students in coed housing reported binge drinking on a weekly basis, and 18 percent of students in gender-specific housing reported binge drinking weekly.

While that doesn't put coed housing on par with fraternity and sorority houses, the researchers note that binge drinking isn't exclusively a "Greek problem".

"In a time when college administrators and counsellors pay a lot of attention to alcohol-related problems on their campuses, this is a call to more fully examine the influence of housing environment on student behaviour," Live Science quoted Jason Carroll, a study co-author and professor of family life at Brigham Young University, as saying.

College housing offices generally assume students prefer coed housing and give them the option to "opt out" if single-gender housing is available. Very few exercise that option.

"Most of the students who live in gender-specific housing did not request to be there; they were placed there by the university," said Brian Willoughby, lead author of the study.

A wealth of information on the study participants allowed the researchers to examine other factors that could predict binge drinking.

Their statistical analysis took into account the effects of age, gender, religiosity, personality and relationship status.

"When we first identified these differences with binge drinking, we felt certain that they would be explained by selection effects," Willoughby said.

"But as we examined the data further we found that the differences remained," he added.

The findings are detailed in the Journal of American College Health. (ANI)

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