Research published today in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health has found that many secondary school students regret having sex after drinking too much alcohol.
The study was led by Paul Agius at La Trobe University before he joined the Burnet Institute and analysed data relating to young people's sexual behaviour and its association with alcohol – specifically binge and compulsive drinking.
"Significant numbers of students drank excessive amounts of alcohol and at time, lost control of the ability to stop drinking," Mr Agius said.
The study found that under half of the students had experienced sex in the past year and of those who were sexually active, approximately one in five students reported sex with three or more people in the past 12 months, with five per cent of female students falling pregnant.
"Not surprisingly, students who drank large amounts of alcohol were at greater risk of having sex which they later regretted because of alcohol use," Mr Agius explained.
"The finding is concerning because having sex you regret may mean you didn't feel in control of the experience. These students were also more likely to have multiple sexual partners over a year."
The study also found that condom use remained relatively stable across both heavy and non-heavy drinking student populations.