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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Teen Girls Think Drugs and Alcohol are Less Dangerous

A new survey has shown interesting results regarding the difference in the way males and females perceive drugs and alcohol. The data released by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America and the MetLife Foundation showed that when it came to drugs and alcohol, teenage girls were more likely to perceive potential benefits like "self-medicating". This means that teenage girls believe that drugs and alcohol are not that dangerous, in comparison to how teenage boys view it. Traditionally, boys have been thought to be the reckless and dangerous ones, more likely to engage in risky behavior like using drugs; the new survey shows us that that tradition may be fading and many people are wondering why?

3,287 teenagers in grades nine through 12 were surveyed and analyzed by researchers in 2009. They found:

  • 68 percent responded positively to the statement "using drugs helps kids deal with problems at home" - up from 61 percent in 2008
  • 53 percent said drugs help teens forget their troubles - up from 48 percent in 2008
  • teenage girls' past-year alcohol use increased from 53 percent in 2008 to 59 percent in 2009
  • teen girls are now less likely to consider Ecstasy addictive (82 percent in 2008 versus 77 percent in 2009)
  • marijuana use increased by 29 percent in teen girls from 2008 to 2009
  • had a higher percentage in 2009 than in 2008 agreed that "drugs help you relax socially" (52 versus 45 percent)
  • "parties are more fun with drugs" (41 versus 34 percent)
  • teen boys' alcohol use increased from 50 to 52 percent
  • marijuana use increased by 15 percent in teen boys from 2008 to 2009
"It's troubling to see that girls view illicit drug use as less dangerous than they previously did and are more likely to drink alcohol," Dennis White, president and CEO of the MetLife Foundation, said in a statement. "For boys and girls alike, however, parents need to know when it's time to act, and how to act when confronted with a substance abuse situation, ensuring they'll be more effective in preventing a serious problem."

The study was sponsored by the MetLife Foundation.

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