Is Binge-Drinking Making Teen Girls More Aggressive?

Researchers have linked the rise in binge-drinking among teenage girls in the U.K. to an increase in their physical agression. Rather than addressing why young women are lashing out, experts say they just need to control themselves.

The British Association of Anger Management says it's encountering more "out of control" young women who drink heavily and get into violent altercations, The Daily Mail reports. In the U.K., the number of women convicted of murder, assualt, and other attacks is up 81% since 1998.

Mike Fisher, a psychotherapist and the group's founder, says that while girls generally handle their emotions better than boys, when they drink they numb themselves and "suddenly they are not able to cope with their emotions appropriately." He adds,

The girls we are dealing with in schools are increasingly physically aggressive.They are tired of being pushed around by boys and they are fighting back. They are fed up with being the passive sex.

It's no surprise that drinking and violence go hand in hand, but of course now that girls are the ones acting out, this is cause for major hand-wringing. Fisher says many high school girls now fight back if they're taunted by boys, but he laments, "They are standing up for themselves, but just not in the right way." So why isn't he more concerned that guys are harassing girls? Oh, right: Boys will be boys.

Simon Lawton Smith of the Mental Health Foundation says there are a wide variety of factors behind the rise in female aggression:

Girls face a new generation of potential triggers for problems such as premature sexualisation, commercialisation and alcohol misuse, and also some of the more long-standing issues like bullying and family breakdown. All these things can be triggers for anger.

Those are some pretty legitmate reasons to be pissed off, and Lawton Smith says the solution is to teach girls to control themselves with more anger management programs in schools. While more support in school is great, the problem goes beyond the girls' reactions to the stressors in their lives. But, why deal with the bigger problems affecting young women, when you can just tell them there's something else wrong with them?


Angry Young Girls: Binge-Drinking Culture 'Creating A Generation Of Aggressive And Out-Of-Control Women'
[Daily Mail]

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