Gender-Specific Misperceptions of College Student Drinking Norms

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This study evaluated perceptions of same-sex and opposite-sex gender-specific versus gender-nonspecific drinking norms among college students (115 men, 111 women). This research is consistent with previous findings that college students overestimate the quantity and frequency of drinking among their gender-nonspecific peers and demonstrates that both men and women overestimate the quantity and frequency of the drinking of their same-sex peers. The findings suggest that perceived same-sex norms are more strongly associated with problematic drinking than are gender-nonspecific norms and that perceived same-sex drinking norms are stronger predictors of alcohol consumption for women than for men. Results suggest that interventions incorporating normative feedback should be framed differently for women than for men.

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