Monday, 19 April 2010

Alcohol, drugs and 'precocious sex', a dangerous 'cocktail' among minors

A recent report by the University of Cádiz's Department of Labour Relations says that "the combination of alcohol, drugs and 'precocious sex' in adolescence, a critical period of development, is a vicious circle." Aggressive behaviour, alcohol, drugs and early sexual activity is a 'cocktail' clearly interrelated, correlated. One thing leads to another, one habit leads to another, and it all leads to a pattern among minors that causes a commonality of "risky behaviour," adds the report, which was carried out among 2000 high school students in Andalucía. It begins by analysing violence and its relationship with drug and alcohol abuse, and ends with sex, correlating over 200 variables. The same people who have early sex, it concludes, are the same as those who drink, take drugs,>
get bad school reports and, above all, have troubled relationships with their parents and a bad image of their school environment.
The report -by the Grupo Universitario de Investigación Social (GUIS) headed by José Rodríguez Carrión, Professor of Public Health at the Escuela de Relaciones Laborales of Jerez, (part of the University of Cádiz) and Clara Isabel Traverso, Doctor of Surgery and its Specialties- concludes that there is a direct link between a good family environment, better education among parents and an 'adequate' educational environment, in the development, or otherwise, of risk behaviour among adolescents. "It is proven that those who have good communication with their parents, and value it, are among those who show less troubled behaviour," they say. The same is true about teachers because the child feels that his or her teacher 'takes him/her into account' and "understands the messages he/she receives" from the child, according to Rodríguez Carrión.

The Professor offers a 'solution' based on such aspects as the recovery of an 'inexcusable tripod' made up of family, teachers and the media, which he says is important in the messages regarding values ittransmits. Part of his solution also proposes the use of 'leadership models' among school children.

The analysis comes as the result of over 100 questions, with almost 200 variables, put to over 2000 secondary education students in Andalucía.

Among parallels found in the report, precocious behaviour is found principally among 'problem kids'. Such behaviour starts at 14, with 'only' -relatively speaking- 20.7% of them admitting to have already had full sex. Among these, 80.7% also drank alcohol regularly, 51% smoke and 24% take drugs, more or less regularly. This interrelation also takes into account 'cyber sex': those who say they take part in it also smoke more (73% against 52% of those who don't) and take more drugs (almost three times as many).

According to the study, the principal causes of precocious sex are twofold: "television programmes and series that contain practices that are seen as normal, but aren't" and what it calls a "trial mechanism" described as "Haven't you tried this yet?" (JP note: 'peer pressure'?)

Another significant factor is alcohol. Over 50% of the surveyed youth admit to having consumed it; among these, drug taking is increased threefold and complete sex is doubled.
The level of parental education and values are referred to in all aspects of the study. For instance, drug and alcohol abuse increases among parents with only a primary education (55%), while the balance is inverted among those who do not abuse, whose parents have a universty or full secondary education (61%).

(Source: Universidad de Cádiz, Grupo Universitario de Investigación Social, Jerez)
(This item also appears on CampoPulse. Have you missed anything there?)

No comments: