The latest research has found that young women regularly have more than 20 standard drinks during a good night out. This means they often blow in excess of $300 in an evening.
It seems that changes in social and moral behaviour are behind young women drinking more. This soar in alcohol consumption by “girls that just wanna have fun” has also led to an increase in promiscuous, violent and out of control behaviour. Unlike young men, young women are drinking more and flaunting the freedom this brings.
This is the findings of Dr Palk, a senior lecturer in psychology at Queensland University of Technology who has been researching into what socially motivates adolescent girls to drink.
Dr Palk said “Australia has a greater number of large-scale pubs and clubs which are providing a venue for ladette-style behaviour.”
So why are they drinking more? To be confident, to be sexy, to be fun; in short to be all the things the media tells them they can and should be.
Dr Palk said “There have been attempts to reduce the incidences of violence, but over the long term it seems the only thing that works to reduce alcohol-related violence is to reduce the number of drinking hours.”
“Many of the self-confessed ladettes that we interviewed don’t perceive that they are trying to act like men, but that they are taking advantage of the social freedoms of the past 20 or 30 years.”
This new found liberation comes at more than a monetary cost. By drinking to get drunk, many girls are opening themselves up to all sorts of dangers. What was once social and moral taboos are now common place, but such casual sexual encounters when drunk can lead to sexual assault or unwelcome STD’s.
“Often this involves pre-drinks at home, to save money, and unfortunately studies show these are the drinkers likely to drink more in total, and at most risk of suffering injury or assault,” concluded Dr Palk.
Since 2000, there has been a 200% increase in the number of women presenting at NSW hospitals with acute alcohol problems, including extreme intoxication, alcohol poisoning and withdrawal, with 3722 cases in 2010.
The latest Australian Institute of Health and Welfare data found that teenage girls as young as 12 years old are now out drinking their male counterparts.
Over the past few years there has been a dramatic increase in young women attending Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). For them, getting their life sober and on track has been a hard battle but many are “staying sober in AA. A number of these young women have or had an eating disorder as well and when they tried to deal with the eating disorder the alcoholism kicked in,” said Ross Fitzgerald, author of My Name Is Ross: An Alcoholic’s Journey, and member of the NSW State Parole Authority and the NSW Government Expert Advisory Group on Drugs and Alcohol.
“Teenage girls are coming into hospital having been sexually assaulted or other assault as a result of having been completely s***faced,” Fitzgerald said.
There are also other self help programs around such as Hello Sunday Morning founded by Chris Raine.
Writer Helen Splarn. Editor Dr Ramesh Manocha.
Source: The Daily Telegraph