Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies

First Advisor

Andrea Foroughi




binge, behaviors, college, bingeing, drinking


The social environment on many college campuses in the United States contains both positive and negative aspects that influence students. Among the various lifestyle changes experienced in college are shared residential living spaces, more frequent social events with peers, a dining meal plan replacing home cooked meals, and an increased sense of independence. These new factors may lead to bingeing behaviors. Determining the connection between binge drinking, binge eating, and binge exercising—a common cycle of behavior that may emerge at the traditional four-­‐year institution—to gender expectations, social group relationships, and self-esteem helps explain the possible catalysts of these behaviors. Binge drinking, binge eating, and binge exercising are three, independent behaviors that may affect a woman at any time in her life. The scholarly research on each of these three behaviors independent of one another is plentiful. However, this thesis presents these behaviors as a cycle with binge drinking leading to binge eating, which, in turn, leads to binge exercising, with the pattern of engaging in these three bingeing behaviors continuing. The hypothesis predicts that female college students are affected by these behaviors most frequently. Specifically, sorority members are more likely to engage in this cycle of bingeing compared to those women who are not members of a Greek organization. Due to a combination of societal expectations, group behavior patterns, physical environments, and engrained perceptions of femininity in society influencing body image and self- esteem, these three bingeing behaviors are likely to affect women after college as well, manifesting into a large‐scale gender issue. For this study, all 1,009 female students at Union College were given the opportunity to provide an anonymous opinion regarding their binge drinking, binge eating, and binge exercise tendencies in an original research survey. Samples within this population were women who belong to a PanHellenic Greek organization at Union College and those women who do not, either by choice or due to the academic policy that a first-year student may not join a Greek organization. A total of 416 responses were collected and analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences data platform in order to identify correlations between variables. By combining the results from this survey with background literature on similar topics, conclusions imply that college‐aged, sorority members may be the most at risk population to engage in this damaging behavior pattern.