What are current alcohol consumption patterns?
Information regarding alcohol use patterns among young women ages 11 to 18 or 19 are available from a number of data sets nationally, internationally and provincially. The data from the Health Behaviours in School-Aged Children Study (HBSC 2001) (Figure 1) show that in 2001 there was significant underage regular drinking and that this drinking was happening in a high-risk pattern which involved getting drunk 6. Alcohol consumption is a pattern of adolescent risk-taking behaviours that tend to cluster. Using the Health Behaviours in School-Aged Children 2001 data set and cross-tabulating the binge drinking data with those of sexual activity one can see that more sexually active (have had intercourse at least once) young women (35% of young women in grade 9 and 50% in grade 10) had been drunk more than four times as compared with those sexually non-active (have never had intercourse) (10% of young women in grade 9 and 15% in grade 10) (Figure 2).7 Poulin and Graham (2001) and Boyce et al