Gender and sexual identity and harms from others' drinking among U.S. college students: Results from a multi-campus survey

J Am Coll Health. 2022 Aug 29:1-5. doi: 10.1080/07448481.2022.2112045. Online ahead of print.


Background: College is a critical life stage for alcohol-related harms to others (AHTOs), gender, and sexual identity. We tested associations between inclusively-defined gender and sexual identities (separately) and AHTOs among college students.

Methods: The Healthy Minds Study (n = 8,308) provided data about three AHTOs: (1) babysitting a drunk student, (2) alcohol-related unwanted sexual advance, and (3) alcohol-related sexual assault. Independent variables included gender and sexual identity.

Results: One in four students (25.5%) reported babysitting, 6.2% reported unwanted advances, and 1.2% reported sexual assaults. Compared to cisgender males, cisgender females had higher odds of reporting babysitting (aOR = 1.36, p < 0.001) and unwanted advances (aOR = 2.59, p < 0.001); trans masculine students had higher odds of reporting sexual assaults (aOR = 4.49, p = 0.04).

Conclusions: AHTOs are prevalent on college campuses, and cisgender female and trans masculine students have higher odds of experiencing them. Alcohol interventions may protect cisgender female and gender minority students from the drinkers around them.

Keywords: Alcohol; alcohol-related harms to others; college; gender minority; health disparities; sexual assault; sexual minority.