Surge in female violence linked to binge drinking

Tue, 30 Nov 2010

An alarming increase in the number of angry and physically aggressive teenage girls may be linked to a rise in binge drinking, anger management experts warn.

The British Association of Anger Management (BAAM) reveals it is dealing with more and more “out-of-control” and aggressive young women.

BAAM’s findings reaffirm statistics that show a staggering 200 women a week are convicted of violent crimes.

Assault

The number of women guilty of murder, vicious assault or other attacks has also risen by 81 per cent since 1998.

Mike Fisher, a leading anger management psychotherapist, says there is a strong link between the rise in binge drinking among young women and their physical aggression.

Speaking ahead of Anger Awareness Week, which starts tomorrow, he said: “Girls are generally better at dealing with their feelings, whereas boys keep it inside. However, when girls drink they are anaesthetising their feelings.

Anger

“Suddenly they are not able to cope with their emotions appropriately, but that anger has to go somewhere.

“Unlike their mothers, who perhaps did not drink as much, they become violent.”

Mr Fisher added: “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.”

Sexualisation

Simon Lawton Smith, of the Mental Health Foundation, pointed to many modern-day challenges for girls which could lead to anger issues.

He said: “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.”

Abortion

In August research revealed that women who binge drink are more likely to have an abortion or take the morning-after pill.

The findings from University College London revealed that binge-drinking women were 40 per cent more likely to have had at least one abortion over the past year.

The study also revealed that women who drink more than the recommended weekly limit, roughly equivalent to 7 glasses of wine, were 80 per cent more likely to have used the morning-after pill (MAP) in the past year.

Excessive

Critics blamed binge drinking for fuelling an increase in the use of the MAP which can cause an early stage abortion.

Dr Sarah Jarvis, of the Royal College of General Practitioners, said: “We have known for years that excessive alcohol use is linked to unprotected sex which can increase the risk of catching sexually transmitted infections.

“I have seen an increase in patients at my surgery with alcohol problems and from young women requiring emergency contraception over the last few years.”

And Norman Wells, Director of the Family Education Trust, said: “These findings reinforce the fact that parents can never afford to take a casual, laid-back approach to alcohol.”

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