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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 September 2005, 00:42 GMT 01:42 UK
Drunk young women 'taking risks'
A young woman slumped in a city centre
The survey compared the experiences of men and women
A large proportion of young women are vulnerable to assaults and take sexual risks after drinking, a study suggests.

The "Anatomy of a big night out" survey found over a third had been sexually assaulted while drunk and 34% had had unprotected sex after drinking.

The Portman Group, a campaign body funded by the drinks industry, said it was "alarming" that "young women seem to be risking more than young men".

Some 500 women and 500 men, aged 18 to 30, were surveyed for the group.

Arrest or caution

Only 2% of men questioned said they had been sexually assaulted after drinking too much.

As well as being more likely to be assaulted, the study also suggests women are more likely than men to become aggressive.

They are getting into more fights, more arguments and are being arrested or cautioned by the police more than young men
Jean Coussins
Portman Group

More than half the women questioned had got into an argument while drunk, compared with 45% of men.

And 27% of women admitted to having been arrested or cautioned by police while drunk, compared with 16% of men.

Just under a fifth - 19% - of female interviewees had been injured through an accident after getting drunk, compared with 14% of men.

The findings of the survey have been published by the Portman Group to coincide with the launch of its "drinks diary" scheme.

The scheme encourages people to log their alcohol consumption.

Peer pressure

In addition to scrutinising the effects of intoxication, the survey also considered why people chose to drink heavily.

We are all vulnerable when drunk because our judgement is impaired
Alex, London, UK

Nearly one third of interviewees said they drank too much when they had a bad day or week, while 31% said they drank heavily to boost their confidence.

And 34% of interviewees said they got drunk because of peer pressure.

Portman Group chief executive Jean Coussins said: "What is most alarming of all is the fact that young women seem to be risking more than young men.

"They are getting into more fights, more arguments and are being arrested or cautioned by the police more than young men."

The free drinks diary is available at www.drinkaware.co.uk.

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