Study Warns Women About Spring Break -
Service-oriented spring break trips offered as alternative instead
By Lindsey Tanner
CHICAGO, Mar. 6, 2006 (news.yahoo.com) - The American Medical Association is warning girls not to go wild during spring break.
All but confirming what goes on in those "Girls Gone Wild" videos, 83 percent of college women and graduates surveyed by the AMA said spring break involves heavier-than-usual drinking, and 74 percent said the break results in increased sexual activity.
The women's answers were based both on firsthand experience and the experiences of friends and acquaintances.
Sizable numbers reported getting sick from drinking, and blacking out and engaging in unprotected sex or sex with more than one partner, activities that increase their risks for sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies.
The AMA is trying to call attention to underage drinking among women because their bodies process alcohol differently and put them at greater risk for health problems, Dr. J. Edward Hill, AMA's president, said Tuesday.
The AMA-commissioned online survey queried a nationwide random sample of 644 college women or graduates ages 17 to 35 last week.
The AMA said the findings highlight the need for alternative spring break activities. For example, the University of Nebraska, Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa., and the University of Wisconsin offer spring break "service" trips.
Gemma Kite, a 21-year-old Lehigh junior, is in Brunswick, Ga., for spring break this week, helping build a house for Habitat for Humanity.
"It's so much fun. We're working outside in the sun," Kite said.