12 Nov 2012

Young people attracted to both genders 'binge drink more'

8:40 pm on 12 November 2012

A new study has found that young people who are attracted to men and women binge drink more than their peers.

The Otago University researchers studied 18 to 25 year olds in Auckland, Wellington and Dunedin.

They found those who are attracted to more than one gender had the highest rate of binge drinking.

The lead author of the study, Frank Pega, says discrimination - including physical and verbal abuse - causes young people who are attracted to men and women higher levels of stress and anxiety because they feel stigmatised and socially excluded.

They try to manage that by binge drinking.

Mr Pega says those attracted to both genders can be discriminated against by heterosexual, gay and lesbian communities.

He says the report recommends community initiatives to raise awareness of such young people, along with anti-stigma campaigns and changes to legislation to ensure equal rights for sexual minorities.