Girls! Girls! Use your words!
Aren't girls supposed to be the more verbal of the genders? That's the popular theory. (Having lately spent what seems to be an inordinate amount of time around chattering 13-year-olds, I would be inclined to agree.) But that willingness to talk apparently doesn't preclude a willingness to come out swinging.
A new report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration finds that, in the past year, more than a fourth of U.S. girls ages 12 to 17 took part in a serious fight, in a group fight or in an attack meant to physically hurt someone.
Here's the full report.
As with boys, the propensity to violence is linked to lousy school performance (and, especially, to no school performance -- that is, kids who didn't bother going to school were dramatically more likely to take a swing), alcohol and drug use, and poverty.
Perhaps some comfort could be taken in the fact that these numbers are holding steady, with about the same amount of violence found in studies from 2002-2004. But it would be cold comfort.
So, please, girls, use your words. I know you can.
-- Tami Dennis
Photo: If only they used gloves.... Credit: Los Angeles Times