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NIH will spend over $400,000 of taxpayer money to study why LGBTQ individuals get intoxicated

The National Institutes of Health is spending over $400,000 to study why young LGBTQ adults get intoxcicated. (Francois Guillot/AFP/Getty Images)

The National Institutes of Health has budgeted over $400,000 for a project to study whether gender norms in American culture drive LGBTQ individuals and gender minorities to overindulge in alcoholic beverages.

"[T]his proposed qualitative renewal project will examine the extent to which gendered norms shape risky drinking practices for sexual and gender minority (SGM) young adults (18-25)," the grant states.

The study, which was commissioned in late July, describes its goal as attempting to understand why sexual and gender minority young adults choose to get intoxicated.

"Alcohol has played a central role for SGM by facilitating exploration of sexuality and gender, coping with minority stress, trauma, and stigma and serving as an integral component of bars and clubs for SGM young adults," it reads. "Given this central role, it is not surprising that problematic alcohol use, including heavy episodic drinking (HED) and intoxication, and alcohol-related problems are significant issues for SGM young adults."

One of the key questions the study hopes to answer focuses on how the group's drinking habits are shaped by their beliefs about gender norms.

"In what ways are young adult SGMs’ meanings and patterns of intoxication shaped by their sexual and gender identities and beliefs about masculinity and femininity?" it asks in the summary.

The project, which has a budgeted cost of $438,699, will study 200 sexual and gender minority individuals from the ages of 18 to 25, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer categories through December 2020, according to the document.

As part of the study, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism aims to identify modes of intervention to reduce and prevent alcohol-related problems associated with sexual and gender minority individuals.

As reported by the Washington Free Beacon, the project is part of a larger ongoing study which examines the drinking habits between young men and women, and has received over $1.4 million in the last three years.



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