College binge drinkers say they’re happier with their social lives than those who don’t indulge — but it’s probably the boost in social status, not the booze itself that lifts their mood, according to new research presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association.
“Binge drinking is a symbolic proxy for high status in college,” said study co-author Carolyn Hsu, an associate professor of sociology at Colgate University in a statement, noting that it’s what the wealthy, powerful and happy students on campus do.
The study found that rich white frat boys reported having the greatest social satisfaction at school and were considered the big men on campus by others. They were not only happier than students in low-status groups — women, minorities and people who were less financially well-off — but also more likely to binge drink. “Binge drinking then becomes associated with high status and the…
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