Drink ’til you droop? Sadly not.

It’s finally official. Get sloppy drunk, and you could end up with a drippy dick. This according to a study of 520 STD clinic patients published in the International Journal of STDs & AIDS (abstract available online. The full text of this publicly funded study costs an outrageous US$18).

The journal’s editor, Wallace Dinsmore, told The Guardian: “The young people interviewed in this study frequently said that better access to condoms at the time and place they were needed would have enabled them to practise safer sex.” She suggests giving condoms away in pubs, clubs and taxis.

That’s all well and good. We’ve shown in many countries that people consistently use condoms more frequently when condoms are right there on the spot where the spoken or unspoken deal to have sex is struck. But the young people interviewed in this study also said they were plastered, averaging 13 drinks a night, and twice that on a “heavy” night. And again, we’ve shown in many countries that people are less likely to use condoms when they are plastered, even when they have one in their pocket.

I’m all for condoms in taxis. But I do have a “what’s wrong with this picture?” feeling when I look at the results of this study. It’s a testament to the stamina of youth that they can sink 26 pints and still have sex, and a testament to strength of the economy that they can do that and still take taxis. But surely the binge alcoholism is a much gretaer worry than a few drippy dicks.

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This post was published on 20/12/07 in Condomania, Good sex and bad, Science.

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  1. Comment by Lee Rudolph, 20/12/07, 05:43:

    Re: “a much gretaer worry”, I’m sure that there’s an “I vant to be alone” joke lurking somewhere around here, but I won’t hunt for it.

    To return to the topic, here’s some more breaking news from the recent literature. “The mean number of times [female] teens [incarcerated in a Georgia, USA, ‘detention center’] reported having [penile-vaginal] sex [in the 2 months before entering the center] while high on drugs or alcohol was 2.78 (SD = 5.5). A modest, but significant, relationship was found between this variable and the six-item index [of ‘dichotomously assessed condom use errors and problems’] (r = .25; P < 0.01) as well as the summative measure (r = .35; P < 0.01). The mean number of teens [presumably, ‘times’ is missing here] reported having sex with a partner who was high on drugs or alcohol was 2.47 (SD = 3.7). Again, a modest, but significant relationship was found between this variable and the six-item index (r = .32; P < 0.01) as well as the summative measure (r = .37; P < 0.01). Thus, the first hypothesis [that ‘(1) alcohol and drug use during sex would co-occur with index measures of condom use errors and problems’] was supported.”

    The second hypothesis, that “(2) an index measure of errors and problems would be significantly associated with biologically-confirmed STDs (chlamydia and gonorrhea)”, was also confirmed. According to the authors, “To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to show a relationship between the incorrect use of condoms and biologically-confirmed prevalence of STDs.”

    The authors report no findings on the pressing third and fourth hypotheses, namely, that the Pope is Catholic and that bears shit in the woods.

    Citation: “Condom Misuse Among Adjudicated Girls: Associations with Laboratory-Confirmed Chlamydia and Gonorrhea”, Crosby et al., J. Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology, 20(6), December 2007, 339-343. The abstract is available online but creating a reasonably compact URL has proved beyond me (the given DOI handle, , does not work). The full text is $30 and, yes, the research was (at least partly) publicly funded by NIH and NIAID. I guess $(30-18) is the premium one pays for choosing to deal with the bloodsuckers at Elsevier rather than the comparatively benign Royal Society of Medicine Press.

  2. Comment by elizabeth, 21/12/07, 07:59:

    I’m so with Lee on both bears and bloodsuckers that I’ve started another post on the subject.


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