What’s happening to our teenage girls? Is it the fact that they are being told that it’s ok to be like the stereotypical guy?
Teenage girls are now more likely than boys to drink, smoke, steal and take drugs, a survey has shown.
In a disturbing confirmation of the spread of the ‘ladette’ culture, it found violence, aggression and self-destructive behaviour has spread alarmingly among girls over the past 20 years.
While boys appear less likely to be drawn towards crime or drugs than they were, psychological and social problems are stacking up among teenage girls, who are now expected to compete on equal terms with boys for educational opportunity and jobs.
The study of 14 and 15-year-olds was conducted by questionnaire, in schools under exam conditions, and the results compared with a similar one from 1985.
Professor Colin Pritchard, who led the research, said: ‘Girls now significantly smoke and binge-drink more than boys. They truant, steal and fight at similar rates, and start under-age sex earlier than boys.’
He said binge-drinking, which was admitted by nearly a third of girls in their early teenage years, drove other anti-social behaviour such as stealing, fighting, taking drugs and engaging in risky sex.