Binge drinking is a powerful social tool on college campuses. In fact, recent studies indicate that many students binge drink to increase their social status. Binge drinking is defined as when a female has more than four drinks in a setting or when a male has five or more drinks during a single social engagement. Recently, researchers from the American Sociological Association announced their findings on this topic at their annual meeting in Denver.
According to the research done by this group, students who are part of minority social groups often binge drink just so that they will be accepted by their peers. The study looked at the drinking habits of students from a variety of minority social groups. Some of them were female, some were students of color, and others were poor. Some of the other students included in this study were also LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) students. However, it is not just students from minority groups who binge drink to gain social acceptance.
Even rich white males, the study discovered, were likely to drink to improve their social status. Rich white males were considered to be the social majority in this study. However, in spite of their social status, these college kids still claimed to enjoy school more if they were binge drinking on a regular basis.
Binge drinking is actually very common among the social majority on college campuses. This is the reason that so many students from minority groups gravitate toward this behavior. By binge drinking, these students think that they will increase their chances of becoming more popular.
The study examined about 1,600 students at a private liberal arts school in the north east of the United States. Most of the students at this particular school were white, male, and straight. The study asked the respondents a number of questions in addition to the questions about binge drinking.
Many of the students even wrote in additional comments about binge drinking. Some of them wrote that they didn’t like to binge drink but they had to because everyone else was. Other students even cited the fact that their peers where rich, white frat members, and they went on to say that binge drinking was the only thing to do on campus.
No one is sure how to stop binge drinking on college campuses. Some people think there needs to be more social outlets and a reduction in peer pressure. Other people think that students need to be better educated about the risks associated with binge drinking. Binge drinking can cause people to make dangerous decisions, and it can also cause health problems including alcohol poisoning and even death. Other people think that young people should learn how to drink alcohol responsibly before attending college by having wine with dinner like many of their European counterparts. Still others believe that students should get used to the responsibility of living on their own by attending boarding school prior to college, and there is more than one boarding school website that can help you find boarding schools if you opt to take that route.
No one knows the solution. However, students should be aware of the potential dangers. Ideally, they should try to pursue popularity by other means than binge drinking.
This post was written by Kaylee Wilson, a proud single mom and a professional writer. She currently contributes at The Family Compass. The Family Compass brings together a vast collection of resources that will help families find their bearings.