The purpose of this paper is to study in detail what kind of role alcohol has among a selected group of sexually active teenage girls, with special emphasis on their locus of control and risky sexual behaviour.
The data comprise the narratives of 87 girls regarding their experience with sexually motivating situations that involved alcohol. The narratives were analysed with a categorical‐content mode of reading.
Narratives belonging to the category ”Everything under control” involved self‐directed girls with strong self‐control who remained in control of the sexually motivated situation despite their drunkenness. “Let it go” narratives were characterised by outwardly directed girls with weak self‐control, irrespective of alcohol use. The effect of alcohol was most noticeable in “I both wanted and didn't want” narratives by girls who had shaky and situation‐dependent self‐control. Their ability to control a sexually motivated situation was unstable and considerably affected by alcohol use.
Alcohol use should be taken into account in sex education and vice versa. Sexual issues should be brought up in education concerning substance use. Young girls should be taught to recognise their own feelings and to consider beforehand what they want from their dating relationships. Role playing can be a useful tool in learning how to better handle sexually motivated situations. A feeling of regret can be utilised in health education both in providing knowledge and as a motivation for behavioural reform.
This study provides sophisticated information for comprehension of the conflicting results of earlier surveys, and it suggests that the association between alcohol use and sexual behaviour is affected by the type of self‐control tendency that girls possess.
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