Alcohol use, sexual intercourse, and an exploratory study

J Alcohol Drug Educ. Spring 1986;31(3):6-40.


PIP: This descriptive study, based on interviews with 125 white, unmarried women predominantly in the 18-21-year age group drawn from a US family planning clinic, sought to gather information on the associations among 1st sexual experience, alcohol and drug use, and contraception. 69% had had their 1st sexual experience by the age of 17 years. 43% reported alcohol use at the time of 1st intercourse; only 7% reported use of other drugs, largely marijuana, at this time. 41% of the sample planned and 59% did not plan their 1st sexual experience; 54% of those who did not plan to have sex used alcohol. 44% of the women who drank and engaged in unplanned intercourse had been drinking for 4 hours prior to intercourse. Only 41% of respondents used a method of contraception at 1st intercourse. There was a clear association between nonplanning of sex, alcohol consumption, and nonuse of contraception. 82% of women who did not plan to have sex and used alcohol prior to it failed to use method of birth control. These findings suggest a need for further research on the ways that alcohol is being used in conjunction with 1st intercourse. It is hypothesized that alcohol work as a mediator among conflicting values and moods in women who are unsure about their readiness for sexual intercourse. There is concern that adolescents are pairing judgment in their use of alcohol and decision making regarding sexuality and contraception.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent*
  • Age Factors
  • Alcohol Drinking*
  • Americas
  • Behavior*
  • Contraception
  • Contraception Behavior*
  • Data Collection*
  • Decision Making*
  • Demography
  • Developed Countries
  • Developing Countries
  • Family Planning Services
  • Fertility
  • North America
  • Population
  • Population Characteristics
  • Population Dynamics
  • Pregnancy in Adolescence*
  • Research
  • Sampling Studies
  • Sexual Behavior*
  • Social Behavior*
  • United States