|Wednesday, February 20th, 2008||Emily Halevy | CWK Producer|
“I think because of this pressure, the girls find that alcohol lessens their inhibitions. It also represses their emotions, anxieties and fears about it.”
– Annie Prescott, Ph.D., psychologist
In recent decades, girls have been catching up to boys -- and even surpassing them -- in a whole host of categories: test scores, academic achievement, college enrollment, graduate degrees. But in one area, girls outdoing boys is not good news.
Who drinks more alcohol, girls or guys?
“I think girls drink more,” says Diane, 13.
“I think girls drink more,” says Matt, 16.
“I think teenage girls drink more,” says Chris, 15.
In fact, a growing number of studies, including a recent survey from Columbia University, show that girls are now drinking more than boys. But why?
“Girls drink more because they try to fit in more. They’re so worried about fitting in and everything,” says Ally, 13.
Experts say there is more pressure on girls than ever before to be good athletes, to get good grades, and, at the same time, to be popular, beautiful and sexy.
“I think because of this pressure, the girls find that alcohol lessens their inhibitions. It also represses their emotions, anxieties and fears about it,” says Annie Prescott, Ph.D., psychologist.
“They want the guys’ attention; they want to show them they are cool and stuff,” says Diane.
Experts say teen girls need to be busy with activities that reinforce their worth and help them create an identity separate from alcohol, sex and boys.
“Sports and church activities, music, art, dance … activities where there are some social groups that don’t promote this type of acting out,” says Prescott.
All the while, she says, parents need to watch closely.
“I’m talking about being a detective -- that you are following up with them. Are they actually where they say they’re going to be? So they know that they have to be accountable,” says Prescott.