girls control their consumption better in the evening

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    A survey by the French Observatory on Drugs and Addiction Tendencies (OFDT) on alcohol consumption in the evening among young people reveals different behaviors depending on sex: girls are better at taking risks than boys.

    The evenings are a decisive moment of sociality in the transition to adulthood. Issues of social and gender differentiation, strengthening of friendly bonds, taste for risk… Young people play great during these alcoholic rituals.

    It is in this context that the French Observatory on Drugs and Addiction Trends (OFDT) published its new survey in issue 149 of Tendances. Conducted with 133 young people and divided into three study sections (adolescents 15-18 years; young adults 23 years maximum; parents of minors 15-17 years), it follows the first edition published in 2017.

    Alcoholic evenings: girls establish “control strategies”

    Does gender affect alcohol consumption? Yes, according to the results of the ARAMIS2 survey.

    The perception of risks differs between girls and boys, as girls are more attentive to social risks (reputational issues, etc.) and external risks (caused by strangers, who could attack or approach them) “say Marc-Antoine Douchet and Paul Neybourger, of the French Monitoring Center for Drugs and Addiction Trends (OFDT).

    Girls must therefore be more in control of alcohol consumption in the evening with the risk of being mistaken for “easy girls” or “immature”.

    They are subject to contradictory imperatives on the part of the children who judge them and at the same time encourage them to consume alcohol “we can read in the study.

    Faced with these risks (abuse, bad reputation), they implement control strategies before the holidays, but also afterwards, when they return home in the evening, alone on the street or by public transport (subway, bus, tram …) .

    However, these regulatory strategies are developed “collectively”: young people act in solidarity and distribute roles. One will stock up on alcohol, the other will serve it … Some will even assume the role of “bodyguard” by not consuming alcohol and watching over others. The figure of “Sam” is also present: often a person is automatically designated to remain sober and drive.

    A greater ability to “take care of others”

    Another gendered behavior: according to the researchers, girls voluntarily reduce alcohol consumption to care for those who “lose control”.

    Within the group of friends, protection registers also appear to be strongly gendered as girls have a greater tendency to control their own drunkenness than to control that of the two authors of the study.

    During the holidays, some become “nurses” for others – mainly boys – taking responsibility for protecting them from themselves (accidents, physical or verbal violence and other “internal risks”).

    They also help the sick to lie down, bring them water, food, store alcohol, or be with those who vomit to keep them from choking, experts note.

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    38% of girls regularly drink alcohol

    The survey also showed a change in consumption “occasional significant alcoholism “ in men and women.

    Clearly, nearly 56% of boys and 36% of girls reported occasional alcohol use during the month of 2005, up from 50% and 38% in 2017, respectively.

    This trend, however, does not preventmaintaining gender stereotypes“, say the experts.

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