Last week, a study published in the Journal of American College Health found that students who live in coed residence halls are more likely to drink and have more sexual partners. An article on the study appeared on USAToday.com and MSNBC featured a debate on the subject.
While the study makes the alarming claim that students living in coed dorms are 2 1/2 times more likely to drink in excess, it is important not to jump to the conclusion that this will definitly happen to your son or daughter should they live in a coed residence hall. For starters, the scope of the study is rather small. Only five institutions were looked at and while 510 students were interviewed, only 68 were living in single-sex housing. While most experts seem to be agreeing that the findings of the study do warrant a closer look, the researchers themselves say that the study is not “all-inclusive”.
Since every student it is different, it is important for all college students to examine what type of living situation will be best for them. Most schools still offer single-sex and substance free housing options. The question is if the student is mature enough to choose these options, especially since they are not the norm. It is another lifestyle decision that college students are forced to make as they venture on into adulthood.