Thursday, May 31, 2012

Teen Drinking Plummets--In the UK

In the USA, teen drinking has been falling since about 1980, with the exception of a brief increase from 1993-1997, and has reached a record low in 2011 according to the Monitoring the Future survey.  While many pro-21 folks like to claim credit for the decrease, they might want to rethink their position after reading the latest news from across the pond.  In the UK, where the drinking age is 18, teen drinking (including "binge" drinking) has also declined recently despite not raising the drinking age to 21.  In fact, weekly drinking among 11-15 year olds dropped by half since 2001, while disapproval of peers' drinking has increased.  Drinking among 16-24 year olds has also dropped significantly since 1998.  Unfortunately, at the same time, the drinking habits of people over 25 have gotten worse--kind of like it has over here.

So why haven't the mainstream media been talking about this good news?  For starters, bad news tends to sell more than good news.  But even more importantly, this news contradicts the popular belief that teenagers and young adults are the biggest contributors to the nation's drinking problem, and exposes the problem for what it really is.  And that doesn't sit well with older adults too well--in either country.

1 comment:

  1. It's good that in the United Kingdom that drinking by girls and boys has decreased significantly since 2001. Stereotypes against young people hurts the civil liberties and civil rights of young people everywhere, especially in the United States. People should project ageism as a positive aspect of culture or beat on scapegoats like minorities are subjected to.