This article is from the Daily Telegraph (UK):
Now it's girls who are behaving badly
By Sarah Womack, Social Affairs Correspondent
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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