In the news: Drinking among college students

Raise the drinking age to 21 or lose 10 percent of your federal highway funds.
That’s what Congress told state governments in 1984. And all 50 states raised the drinking to age 21.
College presidents and chancellors who support the Amethyst Initiative say the federal government’s efforts to reduce drinking among youth failed, especially among college students. They say:

A culture of dangerous, clandestine “binge-drinking”—often conducted off-campus—has developed.
Alcohol education that mandates abstinence as the only legal option has not resulted in significant constructive behavioral change among our students.
Adults under 21 are deemed capable of voting, signing contracts, serving on juries and enlisting in the military, but are told they are not mature enough to have a beer.
By choosing to use fake IDs, students make ethical compromises that erode respect for the law.

Some people disagree and say lowering the drinking age will not reduce drinking among college students.

An article published in the January 2011 issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs contends that it is unlikely lowering the drinking age would cut drinking (Download 9-page article).
Authors of the article, entitled “Heavy Episodic Drinking on College Campuses: Does Changing the Legal Drinking Age Make a Difference?”, studied data from 32 campuses to reach their conclusion. Lead author Jawail Rasul was quoted as saying:

Since there was no evidence that high misperceptions of peer drinking are the norm, it was highly unlikely that lowering the drinking age would reduce student “heavy episodic” or binge drinking.

Oddly, Rasul is also quoted as saying:

Our goal was to reduce binge or “heavy episodic drinking” among college students.

What does that mean? Shouldn’t researchers’ goal be to find out the truth?
Whatever the case, the drinking age is a controversial subject. What do you think? Would lowering the drinking age reduce binge drinking among young people?

Video: Lower drinking age to 18? (Spring 2011)

9 thoughts on “In the news: Drinking among college students

  1. Eric Strasser

    In my opinon lowering the drinking age not reduce binge drinking among kids that are 18 or are in college within that age. Lowering the drinking will become a huge issue when it comes to statistics with higher fatal deaths, more car accidents, and more drunk driving. The cost of insurance when accidents occur will go up and if a student within the age of 18 dies because of alchol posiening, the parents might sue. Its worth a shot to see what will happen with lowering the drinking age but I think it would become a huge problem.

  2. Colby Eaton

    -i think we would benefit from lowering it to 18, but as long as we have stricter laws on driving drunk
    -people would get it out of their systems and become more responsible
    -it depends on the exposure people get of alcohol and if and how their parents talk to them about it; better education from parents and schools

  3. Gunner Hughes

    I think lowering the drinking age to 18 would reduce binge drinking among college students. I feel that teenagers drinking in a bar enviroment is much more safe because there are older people around to tell you when you’ve had enough. At a house party full of only teenagers this factor is not present. This makes it much easier for a teen to drink to much. I think that teenagers binge drink simply because they aren’t allowed to.

  4. Casey Pierce

    I think it depends on the kind of exposure one has to alcohol. If you want to do something bad enough, especially if you are told not to, you will find a way to d it. I think if some of the taboo was taken away from drinking, kids wouldn’t want to so badly. So, I think that we might benefit from the drinking age being lowered to 18.

  5. Kelsey Coaker

    I think the drinking age would reduce binge drinking among college students because I believe that teens would be able to handle liquor responsibly by the time they got to college. Also, parents would have the need to talk to their children about how to drink responsibly earlier on in life.

  6. Ashley Farrell

    I do not think that lowering the drinking age to 18 would reduce or increase binge drinking. I think binge drinking has more to do with how you were raised to view alcohol rather than its availability. If you want to drink when you’re 15 you’ll find a way to get alcohol.

  7. Pinky Caesar

    Lowering the drinking age would allow for students to find their limits before they enter the independant relm that is college. Also a lowering the dinking age would eliminate the novlty of drinking underage. Just lowering the drinking age would not halt entily binge drinking, parents need to step up and teach their kids about drinking and the associated dangers of getting completly plastered.

  8. Brittany Simmons

    The drinking age being lowered allows kids to become adults sooner and allows them to take on more responsibilities by the time they get to college. I believe that will be the driving force of the reduction of binge drinking on college campuses.

  9. Pingback: Video: Lower drinking age to 18? | Writing • Photography • Blogs • Journalism

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