Study examines drinking among lesbians and bisexual women

Windy City Times - On June 1, the American Sociological Association released a study examining hazardous drinking among women who identified as lesbian or bisexual. The study is one of the first to investigate how apparent contradictions between a woman's sexual identity and her sexual behavior and attraction can lead to hazardous alcohol use.

Dr. Amelia Talley, co-author of this study and assistant professor of experimental psychology at Texas Tech University, told Windy City Times, "Traditionally, people's sexual orientation is believed to be comprised of at least three major facets—self-identification, attraction and behavior. ... Only recently have researchers begun to compare alcohol outcomes based on each of the three sexual orientation facets. ... My collaborators and I realized that inconsistencies among these facets were not uncommon, especially considering Lisa Diamond's work suggesting that humans express varying patterns of sexual fluidity throughout their lifetime. We wanted to look at some of the consequences of apparently contradictory facets of sexual orientation for alcohol use behaviors."

For guidance on the possible effects of these apparent contradictions, Talley turned to the work of Leon Festinger. Festinger's cognitive-dissonance theory states that humans are uncomfortable when two aspects of themselves, such as their beliefs and actions, are inconsistent with each other.

Read the story here.