Posts Tagged ‘alcohol’

Drink Young, Drink Less?

In society|BOOK on December 7, 2009 at 4:53 pm

Research findings from Liverpool John Moores University state that allowing children to drink occassionally may reduce binge drinking. Almost 10, 000 15-16 year old participants completed the survey which found that drinking at home may protect children from alcohol damage and violence.

Clearly, drinking at home is the safer option.  According to study results, over a third of drinkers in the above age group admitted to buying their own alcohol.  Obviously, when children buy their own alcohol, there is more free reign as parents are unaware of their drinking behaviours.  The child wants to escape from the environment where underage drinking is not acceptable.  Parents rules can drive children away, resulting in harmful alcohol-related behaviours.  These ideas are confirmed within the research findings, as children buying alcohol were much more likely to binge drink and drink in public places.

Although abstinence within the family removes the risk of drinking alcohol, this benefit is restricted to the home environment.  When parents do not allow their children to drink, they are increasing the likelihood of excessive drinking and dangerous environments. Drinking can sometimes be a result of peer pressure and therefore drinking a small amount at home can show the child that there is nothing that special about the consumption of alcohol.  It would result in the prevention of rebellious behaviours related to alcohol and provide the child with a safe environment to learn the effects and consequences of drinking.

Alternatively, you could argue that children learn from their mistakes and experiences.  Thus drinking outside of the home may in some cases prevent future cases.  However, this is a high risk to take, as some children have no concept of limits to their drinking habits and will do anything to feel popular and part of a social group. If parents give their children an occassional drink, they are taking the responsibility of teaching them how to control their alcohol intake in social situations, increasing their safety.

There Is No Such Phenomenon As “Girl Gangs”

In comment|BOOK, society|BOOK on December 1, 2009 at 1:23 pm

A hearing of two court cases involving violent crimes committed by teenage girls has raised the question – is there a growing trend of violence among young women throughout Great Britain? Two 17-year-olds involved in one of the noted cases are stubborn in the face of these concerns, stating that there is no such concept of “girl gangs”. 
Apparently, these crimes arise because of nothing but friendship.  Mates have to look out for each other.  If somebody is talking about you behind your back and making threats – this will not pass without action.  “You can’t just go around being bullied”  Tish, one of the girls involved in the hearing, argued that the violence involved in this incident was “not violence, that’s self defence”.

But is it? Inconsideration of the Rosimeiri Boxall case, the 19-year old girl who was tortured and bullied into her death, it is clear that self defence claims prove pitiful. In fact, Hatice Can, 15 and Kemi Ajose, 17 were participating in an example of brutal bullying and torture.  These girls try to blame their actions on their childhood and the character of their parents, but it comes down to an individual conscious choice.  In the previously mentioned case, Tish stated that she feels she has no chance because of her mother.  However, this point is soon brought to a close with the blunt realisation, “I’ve just got a temper on me” 

We can speculate about the ins and outs of violent incidents involving young women, but the statistics speak for themselves.  Even though women from the age of 16-24 have the highest risk of becoming victims of hostile crime in the UK, recent data has shown an increase in individuals turning to crime themselves.  Further to this, women’s rights group Engender have found that within a group of 14- to 21-year-olds, one in three girls and one in two boys thought there were circumstances in which it could be acceptable to hit a woman or force her to have sex.Youth Justice Board figures for last year further show that girls can now be blamed for approx. 21% of criminal offences that reach the courts due to the 50% rise in violent crime committed by young women.

The concern of rising female violence is not just restricted to the UK. Other western European nations report similar trends in female crime.  Over the past 10 years the rate for violent offences involving adolescent girls in Canada has increased at twice the rate for boys.

Dr Val Besag (Kidscape) claims alcohol and socialisation are to blame.  Girls have always been socialised into being kind and ladylike.  In the face of confrontation, girls would have to ‘go away and be friends’.  However, boys would be told to ‘fight back’.  There is obviously a cultural bias and a stereotype that men are more violent than women.  US psychologist Richard Felson states that motives for violence are identical for both genders – to gain retribution and to protect self-image

Evolutionary science has provided evidence that girls are just as violent as men but they take longer to become angry.  Women have a procrastinating nature.  However, abuse of alcohol and drugs shortens this time. Some terrible cases of bullying and murder have arisen from the use of these harmful substances.  All that has to be seen is a crowd of drunken girls on a Friday or Saturday night to get a vivid idea of these claims. 

It is clear that the concept of a “girl gang” is very prominent in our society.  Whether young females decide to cover up their actions by a vow of friendship or blaming their parents, these young girls are simply making the choice to create conflict as a group activity.