Girls Behaving Badly

By Lunar Loops · May 19, 2006 · ·
  1. Lunar Loops
    This article is from the Daily Telegraph (UK):

    Now it's girls who are behaving badly
    By Sarah Womack, Social Affairs Correspondent
    (Filed: 19/05/2006)

    Girls are now more badly behaved than boys when it comes to taking drugs, drinking alcohol and having underage sex, but both are actually better behaved than their parents were 20 years ago, according to research.
    "The good news and, perhaps, unexpected is that the 2005 youngsters we studied have less problematic behaviour than those in a 1985 cohort and even with the problematic behaviour, drugs, drink and sex, this is still a minority activity," said Prof Colin Pritchard of Bournemouth University.
    Prof Pritchard and Richard Williams, social inclusion co-ordinator for the university, published their findings in a new book, Breaking the Cycle of Educational Alienation.
    They repeated a survey along the south coast that was conducted in 1985 involving Year 10 and 11 secondary students. The results were used to contrast today's behaviour with that of their parents 20 years ago.
    "The bad news is that 20 years ago boys drugged, drank, smoked, truanted, stole, vandalised and fought more than girls," said Prof Pritchard. "Today it is very different. Girls now significantly smoke and binge-drink more than boys.
    "They truant, steal and fight at similar rates to boys but have started under-aged sex earlier than boys."
    He added: "What we're saying through this work is that we have to reach out to parents and show how the cycle of educational and societal alienation must and can be broken to enable parents and schools to work together to contribute to children's educational, social and emotional well-being."

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  1. Nature Boy
    I've noticed the whole binge-drinking and binge-smoking habits of young women in action myself. When SWIM was in his teens and a few of his male friends started smoking, a few of the girls picked up on it after a few months in the typical "wanting to fit in manner". Some of these girls literally started chain-smoking after only trying a cigarette for the first time just a week before. Perhaps a lot of this is down to social pressure about weight as many girls assume that smoking is a sure-fire way to fight the pounds.

    Binge-drinking is quite prevalent amongst young women as well, massively in Ireland anyway. With the introduction of alcopops and tasty syrupy liquors in all sorts of flavours, a new drinking market has been born. Women generally don't tend to down a few beers like men have been doing for centuries, they have a whole different style of drinking which sees them getting extremely drunk, extremely quickly.

    Sorry to be so general here and I'm not intending to offend any female members by expressing my opinions because not all people are the same. This is just an observation of a new culture that has really exploded.

    As for underage sex, that may be down to several reasons. Pressure, pop culture, fashion and even the availability of contraception are all factors.
  2. bewilderment
    Here are some things I found on the net which speculate upon various reasons that females succumb to addiction/drug abuse:

    Many of the reasons why adolescents drink are gender blind, but some factors may affect girls more than boys.

    * Puberty tends to bring a higher incidence of depression among teenage girls, which can trigger alcohol use.6 One study found symptoms of depression in one in four girls – a rate that is 50 percent higher than in boys

    * Adolescent girls who are heavy drinkers (drink five or more drinks in a row on at least 5 different days in the past month) are more likely than boys to say that they drink to escape problems or because of frustration or anger.

    * Friends have a big influence on teenagers overall, but girls are particularly susceptible to peer pressure when it comes to drinking. Adolescent girls are more likely than boys to drink to fit in with their friends, while boys drink largely for other reasons and then join a group that also drinks.9

    * Girls often are introduced to alcohol by their boyfriends,10 who may be older and more likely to drink.

    Females process alcohol differently than males; smaller amounts of alcohol are more intoxicating for females regardless of their size. Three physiological differences may explain this:

    * Females have less body water than males. When people drink, alcohol spreads into the water in their bodies. Because females have smaller amounts of body water to dilute the alcohol, they have higher concentrations of alcohol in their blood than males have after drinking identical amounts of alcohol.20

    * An enzyme that is important in metabolizing or processing alcohol works differently in females than in males. In males, the enzyme – called alcohol dehydrogenase – breaks down much of the alcohol in the stomach so that less of it enters the circulatory system. In females, the enzyme is less active.

    * Changing hormone levels during the menstrual cycle may affect the rate of alcohol metabolism in females.

    * Girls are more likely than boys to be depressed, have eating disorders, or be sexually or physically abused — all of which can increase the likelihood of substance abuse.

    * Girls using alcohol and drugs are more likely to attempt suicide.

    * Substance use can lead to abuse and addiction more quickly for girls than boys even when using the same amount or less of a particular substance.

    * Girls are more susceptible to lung damage as a result of smoking and alcohol-induced brain damage.

    * Girls and young women who frequently use drugs or alcohol are more likely to engage in risky sex or be the victim of sexual assault.

    I'm female and of course have noticed that which is obvious: I know many more males who use drugs than I do females who use. However, the females that I do know who use drugs seem more likely to be adversely affected by their drug-use and also seem more likely to become addicted. I think this may be due to things such as mood disorders or simply hormones. Also, it's much less socially acceptable for females to abuse drugs/alcohol than males so it's often done in secret which I think is more likely to lead to addiction. If you're not ashamed of your actions then you can go out, party and have a good time, and come home and be happy with whatever fun you had. However, if you're ashamed then you'll use more in the privacy of your own home and I think that it's more likely for drug-use to get out of hand when you're alone and no one really knows about it until, of course, it becomes all too obvious.
  3. enquirewithin
    Has anyone else observed that women tend to be less enthusiastic cannabis smmokers than men? Or is that an baseless generalisation?
  4. Nature Boy
    Great post bewilderment.

    And yes enquirewithin, SWIM has noticed that women are much less enthusiastic about cannabis. Don't really know why though. Perhaps it's because of the social shame issue bewilderment touched upon above. A lot of men couldn't give a crap about being called a crusty stoner. Women hate to hear stuff like that and SWIM's noticed that they get very touchy on the subject of hygiene.
  5. blue_eyes
    Hey enquirewithin.....

    SWIM is a female and she has had several episodes of psychological dependance on cannabis. This isn't to say that your observation is foundless and/or full of shit. I think perhaps there is a generalised trend that women are less likely to become dependant on cannabis than men, but SWIM is living proof that women do get hooked on bongs. Take tonight for example... SWIM was out of smoke, so instead of going without, she dried out the "black death" in the stem and re-smoked it. Now, a casual smoker would have just accepted that there wasn't any pot left, but SWIM wasn't satisfied with that. She stooped to the depths of smoking dregs. YUK! not good :(
  6. bewilderment
    I do tend to notice that women are less enthusiastic about smoking cannabis. They may just be hiding their enthusiasm at times though. Swim is a full-blown pothead and those who smoke with her can confirm often gets pointed out by the less enthusiastic females in a smoking circle: "WOW, you are a huge pothead, huh?" Swim doesn't mind people mentioning it so long as they're fellow smokers, but it will rub her the wrong way otherwise. Swim often doesn't mention the she smokes pot (even if she knows the other person smokes or that other people are smoking in a separate room at a get-together) until she knows the person extremely well or if the person happens to offer her a smoke. Swim is always extremely hesitant to mention it because of some kind of stigma, but has noticed that males are usually more forthcoming. It may have something to do with social anxiety rather than her gender though. However, swim is a daily smoker and has even grown in the past for her own personal stash. She also seems to outsmoke most of her smoking circle because she continues to pack bowls after everyone else is "set". She also just likes the taste of the smoke and smoking in general...and since she doesn't enjoy tobacco, she only smokes cannabis.

    So, some females can actually keep up with the males. It's just a little more rare, I think.

    I hear you about scraping up stuff to smoke, blue_eyes, swim usually is able to find something to smoke after she is technically supposed to be out. Swim likes to say "well, I'm about to go make myself some know like Jesus making wine. I'm a little bit like Jesus."
  7. blackbastard
    swim certainly doesnt want to sound mysogenistic here, but he found that females tended not to like to smoke "tools" (bongs, pipes, buckets etc) which many heavy smoker males tend to be fans of.
    many females said that the tools are not feminine or dont project a positive image of femininity. this used to be heard with beer drinking in pubs/bars where females would have to drink pints which some felt did not do them any favours in enhancing their image.
  8. FrankenChrist
    I see a lot of difference in the drinking cultures of my country and the UK where I'm staying for the moment. I'm a pretty liberal thinker, but some of the things I see here would make me sound like my parents... And the way some of these girls dress to go out, oh lord. It would put our prostitutes to shame. ;)

    I have witnessed a screaming bitch fight where one of the two offenders was grabbed by the throat by a female bouncer and shoved out throught the fire exit.
  9. blackbastard
    SOME girls in the uk give us as bad a reputation at home as some of the football hooligans do abroad. it's a problem that there doesnt seem to be a simple solution to. education has clearly failed already for them
  10. FrankenChrist
    I hate to generalise, but do you think it's because of the class system?
    If it is, could it also be the cause of the high UK teen pregnancy rates? (Never before in my life have I seen so many young mothers. The statistics support my finding. I think it's really sad.)
  11. blackbastard
    i'd like to think that its not, but my experience has led me to believe that class is one major aspect of the case.
    most girls who binge-drink (my own female realtives included) of middle class upbringing tend to outgrow/get bored with the whole affair.
    again one cannot generalise about the whole of society, only comment on what one has seen
  12. Nature Boy
    One of the main problems with UK (and Irish) drinking culture is that many people go out on a Saturday night believing that they have the patriotic right to get absolutely shit-faced on booze because they're good law-abiding citizens who work hard during the week and avoid those "oh-so-evil" illegal substances. It's ridiculous really. Combine ignorance with not having anything else to do during the weekend and you get these familiar disastrous drunken scenes in buckets.
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