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Gender differences in teenage alcohol consumption and spatial practices


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In recent years teenagers have reported a decline in under-age drinking at the same time as their access to public space has been increasingly curtailed. In this paper we explore the spatial practices and drinking behaviours of a group of teenage girls and boys aged 13–14 years in Liverpool, UK. Our analysis considers how their use of space was bound up with experimentation with alcohol and how this varied by gender. We find in support of previous research that both boys and girls report nuanced experiences of public space, with some enjoying greater freedom while others have moved into more domestic and supervised leisure spaces in response to fears about their safety in public spaces. The boys also reported less alcohol consumption than the girls. These gendered experiences were mediated by social relationships and encounters with other young people, their parents and carers and also other adults in positions of authority.

Acceptance Date May 4, 2017
Publication Date Jun 6, 2017
Journal Children's Geographies
Print ISSN 1473-3285
Publisher Routledge
Pages 741-753
Keywords alcohol consumption, teenagers, public space, gender, leisure
Publisher URL


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