Girls aged 16 ‘get drunk more often than their male peers’

Last Updated: Mar 09, 2011, 12:32 PM IST

London: A new European study has revealed that girls aged 16 are getting drunk more often than boys.

It said that the rising numbers are knocking back the equivalent of half a bottle of vodka at a time.

Over the last decade girls have caught up with boys, and although they consume less than boys at a time, they are getting drunk more frequently, reports the Daily Mail.

The study at Karolinska Institute in Stockholm found 80 percent of all 15- to 16-year-olds drink regularly, usually downing at least five units at once.

The research, based on data on more than 38,370 teenagers from 23 countries, found Britain is one of only two countries in Europe – the other being Norway – where girls drink more often than boys.

It is socially acceptable here for women to be seen to be able to ‘drink like a man’, it said.

Girls who binge drink are more likely to be bullies, perform badly at school, have unprotected sex, and end up in A&E.

Teenage girls face far more peer pressure to drink than boys, it added.

But girls are less likely to binge drink if they have very close bonds with parents – particularly their mother.

Girls who regularly sit down to family meals are less likely to start drinking as they fear breaching their parents’ trust.

Anna-Karin Danielsson, who conducted the study, said the risk among boys ‘is considerably reduced when parents keep an eye on what they get up to’.