Teenage girls in the United Kingdom consume more alcohol than their male peers, the Western Mail reported.
According to a survey conducted by the Schools Health Education Unit, 44 percent of girls aged 14 and 15 had at least one alcoholic drink a week, compared with 42 percent of boys. While boys generally drank more beer, girls consumed more wine, spirits, and alcopops. Teen girls were also more likely to smoke.
The researchers attributed the increase in drinking to teen girls trying to emulate the behavior of older peers and to outdo their male counterparts.
“They are going out and losing control as a result of alcohol and we are seeing them then putting themselves at risk through casual sex and all the infections that go with it,” said Baroness Finlay of Llandaff, a professor at the University of Wales College of Medicine. “We know chlamydia is on the increase. My impression from talking to students is there is a culture that to have a good time you have to go out and get smashed. There’s this huge peer pressure that you are only having a good time if you are drunk. Some of these girls look so grown up. They are so provocatively dressed, it’s quite difficult for somebody running a bar or pub to know if they are under-age.”
The survey was based on responses from 15,500 children from 196 primary and secondary schools across the UK.