It’s summer, and party time for many teens and college kids.  While our society seems to have done a pretty good job getting the message out not to drink and drive, we’re not so good at making the connection clear about alcohol and sexual behaviors.   A page you might want to share with you teen (or better, talk over) is Tips For Teens: The Truth About Alcohol from the Department of Health and Human Services.

In addition, these facts are enlightening:

  • Using alcohol (as well as cigarettes, marijuana and other drugs) greatly increases the risk of early adolescent sexual activity. (Journal of Marriage and Family, 1990)
  • Among the 33.9% of currently sexually active high school students nationwide, 23.3% had drunk alcohol or used drugs before their last sexual intercourse. (CDC Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance, 2005)
  • While “date rape drugs” are something to be aware of, it is more common for victims to be caught off guard because of alcohol or drug consumption.  Analysis of a sample of urine drug tests of sexual assault victims demonstrated that alcohol was present in 63% of the victims, marijuana was present in 30% of the victims and “date rape” drugs…in about 3% of positive samples. (Journal of Reproductive Medicine. Vol. 45. 2000)
  • So that there not be any confusion about consent, it needs to be clearly taught (particularly to males as the usual perpetrator) that the law considers someone who is inebriated as unable to consent.  Thus, it is sexual assault or rape when there is sexual contact and one of the parties is drunk or under the influence of drugs.