There are times when the prim, quasi-Victorian language used in scientific press releases seems firmly tongue-in-cheek. Today’s statement from University at Buffalo’s Research Institute on Addictions (RIA) must look like a particularly heaven-sent piece of advertising copy for energy drinks manufacturers (not to mention Jagermeister).
The study examined the sexual behaviour (Whoa! Calm down. By questionnaire, not actual observation) of 648 participants enrolled in the introductory year of a ‘large public university’. 47.5 percent were female, ages ranged from 18-40, although more than 60% were under 21.
‘Mixing energy drinks with alcohol can lead to unintentional overdrinking, because the caffeine makes it harder to assess your own level of intoxication’, reports Kathleen E. Miller, senior research scientist at RIA.
alcohol mixed with energy drinks may play a role in the ‘hook-up culture’
No mention was made to suggest that adding distilled alcohol is just about the only way to make energy drinks even halfway palatable. The study ‘seems to indicate that alcohol mixed with energy drinks may play a role in the ‘hook-up culture’ that exists on many college campuses’ according to Miller, suggesting that she may be a strong contender at that infamous Mastermind specialist subject: ‘stating the bleeding obvious’.
Students who consumed alcohol/energy drinks didn’t just get drunk. It seems that young adults, crazed with the intoxicating effects of the mixture, (and released from decades of parental supervision, finding themselves in close proximity with other young adults, some of whom they find attractive), are having casual sex.
The dirty perverts.
Those who consumed these ungodly mixtures ‘were more likely to report having a casual partner and/or being intoxicated during their most recent sexual encounter’.
And that’s a bad thing, obviously. Because they might get AIDS and die? Or get unintentionally pregnant? ‘Drinkers were no less likely than non-drinkers to have used a condom’. Oh.
There is a mention that casual sex can increase the possibility of sexual assault and depression. Which perhaps it can. As perhaps can non-casual, or non-intoxicated sex. The report is a little inconclusive on the matter.
Putting aside the tabloid-esque scorn at yet another piece of academic research pointing out the obvious, and the simple fact that students will do as students will do (a safe, inclusive environment, well-lit campus and a decent nightbus service would do more to eradicate many of the genuine risks of college life than any amont of time spent demonizing Jagerbombs), there is little in this study that will send any sort of warning signal to students or legislators.
If anything, the headline offers a gleeful buzzphrase to the likes of Monster Energy and Red Bull that advertising law would never allow them to claim for themselves. ‘Red Bull gets you laid’.
Whether it has any link with Sudden Adult Death Syndrome was not examined in the RIA study.
Source: University at Buffalo