Well here’s one for the old DUH! column.
It seems that scientists wanted to see if there was any validity to the old saying that drinking too much can lead to having unsafe sex, and potentially an HIV infection, so they got some grant money and conducted some research into the matter.
What had researchers confused over the issue it seems is the whole cause-and-effect thing. Was it too much alcohol that caused unsafe sex that could lead to HIV or was it more about personality traits in individuals where a disposition to risky behavior in general that was the cause.
The results of the research was published in the January issue of the journal Addiction and summarizes the results of 12 experiments that tested the cause-and-effect theory in a systematic way.
As anyone with any common sense would have surmised they found that alcohol consumption does indeed affect decision-making and the effect rises with the amount of alcohol consumed.
The more alcohol that participants consumed, the higher their willingness to engage in unsafe sex.
In these experiments, study participants were randomly allocated to one of two groups in which they either consumed alcohol or did not. Then their intention to engage in unsafe sex was measured. An increase in blood alcohol level of 0.1 mg/mL resulted in an increase of 5.0% (95% CI: 2.8% – 7.1%) in the indicated likelihood of engaging in unprotected sex. This result remained stable in sensitivity analyses aimed to correct for a potential publication bias.
Like I said – DUH!