When college students leave campus for spring break, they are expecting to kick back and have a good time. With the stress of classes and possibly employment, many students find that it is easy to overindulge in partying over spring break.
While some spring break partying is spontaneous, some students are planning ahead to get into a little trouble. A new study from the University of Michigan says that though college partying looks unorganized over spring break, some students may be doing exactly what they planned.
The news is not all bad, however, for those who make plans ahead with friends to watch out for one another, they tend to be less likely to take risks. The planning is, in some cases, designed to party at a reasonable level and not lose control.
The researchers found that 60 percent of college students interviewed said that they have a conversation with friends before spring break that results in an understanding about alcohol use. The researchers interviewed a total of 650 students.
Among participants, nearly 24 percent agreed with friends that they would get drunk during spring break, but 19 percent of the students said that they have an agreement with friends that they would not get drunk. Over half of the participants reported having an agreement with friends regarding sexual behaviors. Approximately 16 percent had an understanding with friends that they would use a condom if they engaged in sexual intercourse.
Men were much more likely than women to have this type of agreement with their friends. While 29 percent of men had an agreement with friends that they would get drunk on spring break, only 18 percent of women had this same type of agreement.
Four times as many men as women had an agreement with friends that they would try to have sex with someone new while they were on spring break. The study found that for women, the understandings were more likely to involve agreements about safe behavior.
Nearly twice the number of women had agreements with friends to not have sex with someone new, when compared with the number of men who made this same agreement. However, men were more likely to have a specific agreement about the use of condoms if they chose to have sex while on spring break.
The findings provided by the study show that there may be benefits in encouraging these types of agreements among friends. When students discuss before spring break their intentions for partying, including risky behaviors like drinking alcohol and having sexual intercourse, they may make better choices than if they do so spontaneously.