Sex Roles

, Volume 76, Issue 3–4, pp 218–235 | Cite as

Contextualizing Students’ Alcohol Use Perceptions and Practices within French Culture: An Analysis of Gender and Drinking among Sport Science College Students

  • Florian Lebreton
  • Robert L. Peralta
  • Jacquelyn Allen-Collinson
  • Lia Chervenak Wiley
  • Guillaume Routier
Original Article


Although research has examined alcohol consumption and sport in a variety of contexts, there is a paucity of research on gender and gender dynamics among French college students. The present study addresses this gap in the literature by examining alcohol use practices by men and women among a non-probability sample of French sport science students from five different universities in Northern France. We utilized both survey data (N = 534) and in-depth qualitative interviews (n = 16) to provide empirical and theoretical insight into a relatively ubiquitous health concern: the culture of intoxication. Qualitative data were based on students’ perceptions of their own alcohol use; analysis were framed by theoretical conceptions of gender. Survey results indicate gender differences in alcohol consumption wherein men reported a substantially higher frequency and quantity of alcohol use compared to their female peers. Qualitative findings confirm that male privilege and women’s concern for safety, masculine embodiment via alcohol use, gendering of alcohol type, and gender conformity pressures shape gender disparities in alcohol use behavior. Our findings also suggest that health education policy and educational programs focused on alcohol-related health risks need to be designed to take into account gender category and gender orientation.


Gender orientation Gender Masculinity Alcohol use Culture of intoxication Health Risk College students International France 



This research was supported by the French National Research Agency (ANR - PRAS GEVU, 2009–2012).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

The authors of the submitted manuscript entitled “Sex, Gender, and Alcohol Use among French Sport Science College Students: A Mixed Methods Approach” hereby establish compliance with ethical standards.

Conflict of Interest

The authors do not have any potential conflicts of interest to report, financial or non-financial.

Ethical Approval

Institutional Review Approval was granted to conduct this study; Research involved Human Participants – Informed consent was provided to all participants.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Florian Lebreton
    • 1
  • Robert L. Peralta
    • 2
  • Jacquelyn Allen-Collinson
    • 3
  • Lia Chervenak Wiley
    • 2
  • Guillaume Routier
    • 4
  1. 1.Maison de la Recherche en Sciences de l’HommeDunkerque Cedex 1France
  2. 2.Department of SociologyThe University of AkronAkronUSA
  3. 3.Health Advancement Research Team (HART)University of LincolnLincolnUK
  4. 4.Université Lyon 1, Laboratoire sur les Vulnérabilités et l’Innovation dans le Sport (L-VIS EA7428)Villeurbanne CedexFrance

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