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Addict Behav. 2003 Jul;28(5):899-913.

Substance use behaviors among college students with same-sex and opposite-sex experience: results from a national study.

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Department of Health and Social Behavior, Harvard School of Public Health, 677 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA.



This study seeks to describe the population of college students with same-sex sexual experience and determine if these students report more substance use than their peers with only opposite-sex experience.


Questionnaires were completed by a national random sample of college students on 119 campuses in 1999. A total of 10,301 sexually active students were categorized as having only opposite-sex, only same-sex, or both-sex partners, and their smoking, binge drinking, and marijuana use behaviors were compared.


Students who report same-sex sexual experiences comprise 6.1% of respondent. Women with both-sex partners were approximately twice as likely to smoke, binge drink, and use marijuana as women with only opposite-sex partners (OR=1.41-2.78), but women with only same-sex partners were not at increased risk for these behaviors. Men with both-sex partners were less likely to binge drink (OR=0.54) than men with only opposite-sex partners.


Students with same-sex experience are present at every type of college. College women with both-sex partners appear to be an appropriate target for health interventions; outreach to these students and further study of related behaviors are warranted.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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