A Duke University study conducted in 2015 has found that college freshmen identifying as transgender are more likely to experience negative consequences from alcohol use, including blackouts and trouble with authorities.
Published this week in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, the study was based on a survey of more than 422,000 college freshmen nationally. It found that transgender students transitioning from a male to female identity reported the highest incidence of risk behaviors and negative consequences from drinking.
“The results tell us we have a lot more to learn about transgender people and about the specific challenges they face,” said Scott Swartzwelder, PhD, the study's senior author and professor at the Duke School of Medicine's Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.
Survey respondents who reported drinking at least once in the past two weeks were asked to offer more detail on their activities. Transgender students reported several behaviors/outcomes in higher numbers than other students, such as drinking so much that they forgot where they were or what they did (36% vs. 25%), driving after consuming five or more drinks (21% vs. 4%), and being taken advantage of sexually as a result of drinking (19% vs. 8%).
Swartzwelder said the study “suggests college administrators and clinicians who interact with these students should be prepared to provide them with better and more effective coping strategies.”