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Old Dominion gets grant of almost $1 million to study lesbian couple drinking habits

The next time you get miffed about how much the feds yank out of your paycheck, try remember some of the stuff on which they spend your money. Which will make you even angrier.

Case in point: The National Institutes of Health has given Old Dominion University grants totaling $911,056 to determine if … stress causes lesbian couples to drink in excess.

According to The Washington Free Beacon, lesbians will keep “daily diaries about their romantic relationships to determine what causes them to drink.”

The OD researchers say no one before has studied “the relationships of lesbian couples and their drinking habits.”

From the Free Beacon article:

“Despite this awareness, no studies have examined how relationship factors and partners’ alcohol use contribute to hazardous drinking among female sexual minority couples,” the grant said.

The research will be grounded in “Minority Stress Theory,” which blames discrimination and stigma for “negative mental health outcomes.” The latest grant, awarded this year, is a follow up to previous work that found “minority stress is associated with alcohol use and related problems via negative affect among lesbians.”

“Extending our previous research, we propose to examine how person-level factors and daily interactions contribute to drinking among female same-sex couples,” the grant said.

MORE: Feds spend $1.5 million to study ‘Why Lesbians are Fat’

The project will employ a “daily diary approach” where lesbians will discuss their alcohol consumption, relationship experiences, and “person-level factors,” such as “connection to the LGBT community” and “positive sexual identity.”

One hundred fifty lesbians will be recruited for the study online.

“The present research will contribute to our understanding of the mechanisms by which sexual minority women’s romantic relationships and experiences of minority stress contribute to alcohol use,” the grant said. “In turn, this information can inform efforts to reduce sexual minority women’s health disparities and improve their health and well-being.”

The researchers say that “young adult sexual minority women” face a higher risk of alcohol abuse than straight women.

Project leader Robin J. Lewis has written extensively on this, and related, topics.

Read the full piece.

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