A study in the Journal of Addiction Medicine looking at teens and marijuana found "preliminary evidence of a faster transition from initiation of marijuana use to regular use in females, when compared with males." Meaning, as Jezebel's Anna North puts it: "girls are quicker to become habitual smokers after their first hit."
Science is always finding one reason or another to explain which teenagers are likeliest to be high school stoners. Recent research has linked marijuana use in teens to affinity for pop music, hanging out "frequently" with friends, not attending religious activities, not getting enough sleep, and trying malt liquor at age 13 or 14. With plenty of teens fitting the above descriptions, it's no surprise that the study, conducted by a team at the Yale School of Medicine, found that around 40 percent of high schoolers are figured to have tried marijuana.
In 2008, researchers surveyed 4,523 Connecticut teens and found an interesting demographic breakdown of gender and ethnicity.Among a survey sample that was 51 percent female and 75 percent white, white females were more likely to have tried marijuana than their African-American, Latino or Asian counterparts. The non-white females were found to have "cultural norms" in place that effectively discouraged substance use.
The researchers concluded that the primary motive of pot-smoking teens was familiar: "avoidance of boredom." They also advocated for "gender-informed prevention and early intervention programs for adolescent marijuana use" and added "extracurricular activity participation seems to be the most robust factor associated with decreased odds of marijuana use, in both males in females."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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