Huge Research Breakthrough: Alcohol Fuels Unsafe Sex!

Hold onto your hats and try to stay with me here.  A new (probably expensive) study is reporting that alcohol effects decision making, and a person’s level of risky sexual behavior INCREASES AS MORE ALCOHOL IS CONSUMED!!  OMG!!  They’ve finally cracked the code!!  Up until now, I thought that it was just a coincidence that people engaged in all form of tomfoolery when they drank, but apparently I was wrong – there’s a link! 

The study was created to explore the link between unsafe sex, HIV and drinking and will be published in the January 2012 edition of Addiction.  Here’s how the study was structured (from

The study participants were randomly assigned to two groups in which they either consumed alcohol or did not. Then their intention to engage in unsafe sex was measured.

An increase in blood alcohol level of 0.1 mg/mL resulted in an increase of 5.0% (95% CI: 2.8% – 7.1%) in the indicated likelihood of engaging in unprotected sex. This result remained stable in sensitivity analyses aimed to correct for a potential publication bias.

The principal investigator for the study was Dr. J. Rehm (or as I like to call him, Doctor Obvious), and he had this bombshell to drop:

“Drinking has a causal effect on the likelihood to engage in unsafe sex, and thus should be included as a major factor in preventive efforts for HIV … This result also helps explain why people at risk often show this behavior despite better knowledge: alcohol is influencing their decision processes.”

My favorite part of the article from Medical News Today was this tidbit:

It’s probably not widely considered by the general public that drinking can inhibit sensible sexual habits and put a person more at risk of HIV/AIDS infection. Thus, public awareness campaigns and prevention programs should shift their focus slightly as a result of the study.

Riiight.  Unless you went to college.  OR ever sipped a beer.

I think the next stage in this important research is to see if beer goggles are real, and if alcohol actually effects someone’s ability to see, or (and I’m just shooting from the hip here) that drinking copious amounts of beer leads to men and women lowering their mating standards in order to give into their sexual urges while their impulse control is compromised.  Nah – I bet the beer just makes stuff blurry!  I guess we won’t know until Important Scientific Research is conducted to confirm the cause and effect, as common sense is obviously not to be trusted.

Thanks, Science. What would we do without you?




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Craft beer nerd, frequent beer blogger and occasional home brewer.

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25 Comments on “Huge Research Breakthrough: Alcohol Fuels Unsafe Sex!”

  1. December 13, 2011 at 2:39 pm #

    Beer, making sex possible for the less fortunate since 8000 BCE.

    • December 13, 2011 at 2:40 pm #

      I think we’ll need to test some fossils before we can make such an obvious claim, Norm. 😉

      • December 13, 2011 at 3:43 pm #

        I don’t know about that, Jim. There’s no proof the Neanderthals had beer, not being bright enough to develop agriculture. Our ancestors did have beer, thanks to agriculture. We’re here; Neanderthals are not. I rest my case.

  2. johnking82
    December 13, 2011 at 2:43 pm #

    If they used a 99% Confidence Interval with an alpha of .001 I’d believe it…but not this crap.

    • December 13, 2011 at 2:46 pm #

      I was thinking the exact same thing (but with bears).

      • johnking82
        December 13, 2011 at 2:53 pm #

        does alcohol consumption make this blog any more enjoyable?

        • December 13, 2011 at 3:00 pm #

          Not so far…

  3. December 13, 2011 at 2:59 pm #

    God, I hope this wasn’t another one funded by US tax $$.

    Also, as I recall, during my salad days I wasn’t all that picky, while under the influence or not. Since the brain in my pants was doing the thinking for me, the order of the day was any port in a storm–and I headed for port way too often!

    • December 13, 2011 at 3:03 pm #

      I think the idea of finding a way to decrease the number of people contracting AIDS is worthwhile (of course it is), but it’s stupid waste of time and resources to determine that:

      Consumption—>Inebriation—>Poor Decisions—>Bad Outcomes

  4. December 13, 2011 at 3:33 pm #

    Myth Busters tackled the beer goggle issue. I think they concluded it is plausible. But their methodology seemed flawed. Luckily no cannons were used in this episode.

    • December 13, 2011 at 3:41 pm #

      It’s probably for the best given recent events.

      I wonder if any “shotguns” were used? Zing!

  5. oliver klosoff
    December 13, 2011 at 3:41 pm #

    I’m pretty sure you can only come to these conclusions if the female is drunk. The male will be willing stone cold sober or otherwise.

    • December 13, 2011 at 3:41 pm #

      Good point – guys are kinda pre-loaded that way…

  6. johnking82
    December 13, 2011 at 3:59 pm #

    Here is a question. Which type of bar is better to pick up the attractive opposite or same sex? Granted, attractive is different in everyones eyes. A typical college bar or a good beer bar?

    • December 13, 2011 at 4:15 pm #

      Based on the fact that this study was all about sexuality as it relates to AIDS, I’m going with the Blue Oyster Bar.

      • johnking82
        December 13, 2011 at 4:16 pm #

        Again with the stereotypes…

  7. December 13, 2011 at 4:02 pm #

    Johnking82, if both actually serve beer, I think the answer is ‘yes’.

  8. johnking82
    December 13, 2011 at 4:18 pm #

    here you go Jim:

    • December 13, 2011 at 4:26 pm #

      Hooray! I can’t wait to be disgusted in person by that Witches Wit label!

  9. Mathew
    December 14, 2011 at 2:49 am #

    I always wanted to figure out how sexy I got after a few beers!

  10. tronto
    December 14, 2011 at 12:37 pm #

    totally off topic… Jim, schlafly is doing a boubon barrel quad. I hope it’s as good as the bbl stout. Not sure if its going to be in distribution or sold just at a specific store like their raspberry coffee stout.

    • December 14, 2011 at 1:05 pm #

      I’ll have to reach out to my contact there and beg!

  11. tronto
    December 14, 2011 at 1:14 pm #

    then I’ll beg you…good luck!

  12. December 16, 2011 at 11:14 am #

    Beer and Sex! my 2 favorite topics! oh, did you have something to say about it, as in the 2 don’t mix? GREAT post again Jim. You rock.

    • December 16, 2011 at 11:55 am #

      Thanks my favorite Wench (if you’re keeping score!).

      Of course they mix – sometimes you can’t even have one without the other!

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