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Risky Behaviours

A substantial portion of adolescent deaths come from unintentional injuries (vehicle crashes, bicycle accidents, etc.). However, surveys of high school students find that boys are more likely to: rarely or never wear a seatbelt; rarely or never wear a bicycle helmet; and rarely or never wear a motorcycle helmet.
  • More young males report having driven after drinking alcohol than females.

  • Boys are more than three times as likely to carry a weapon (including carrying one to school) than girls.

  • Boys are approximately ten times as likely to report carrying a gun then girls.

  • Boys are nearly twice as likely to be in a physical fight as girls (including fights on school property), and are about twice as likely to report having been injured in a fight.

  • Boys are more likely to have been threatened or injured with a weapon on school property than girls.

  • Use of tobacco products (including cigarettes, cigars, and smokeless tobacco) is higher among adolescent males than females.

  • Alcohol use (especially episodic heavy drinking) is generally higher among adolescent males than among females.

  • Use of illegal drugs (including marijuana, cocaine, hallucinogens, heroin, illegal steroids, and ecstasy) is generally higher among adolescent males than females.

  • Boys are often initiated into risky behaviors at an early age: more boys than girls report their first experiences with sex, cigarettes, alcohol, and marijuana as occurring before age thirteen.

  • Adolescent boys are more likely to have had four or more sexual partners than girls, and are less likely to have been tested for HIV.

  • Boys are more likely than girls to be the victims of serious violent crime (including aggravated assault, robbery, and homicide).