The making of the modern girl part 4: `Modern girl' replies

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Indy Lifestyle Online
The Independent invited female readers aged between 13 and 18 to fill in, anonymously, a questionnaire on attitudes and lifestyles. More than 250 of you replied from all over the country and all types of schools and colleges, but mostly those in the state sector. The bulk of replies came from the 13-17 age group.

On the subject of boys there was good news for the moral majority: about two-thirds of you have not had sex yet, and the number claiming more than five sexual partners was tiny. Good news, too, for feminists: about half of you have asked a boy out on a date.

You are surprisingly well off: pocket money varies hugely, although pounds 40 a month seems the going rate. But about 50 per cent have jobs outside school with quite a few earning more than pounds 20 a week. What do you spend it on? Not cigarettes - very few of you smoke. Alcohol and drugs, yes. Both seem to be taken regularly but in moderation, with lager, cider and vodka the most popular drinks. About 40 per cent have tried drugs: most likely marijuana or Speed, perhaps Ecstasy or LSD

A striking result was the importance you attach to success at school: most of you rate this as very high. But despite a lone aspiring director of a blue-chip company, most are planning traditional careers in the "caring professions" - medicine, teaching, or in the arts and media, although politics and law were encouragingly popular. Your answers, however, do suggest a future in which the traditional role of breadwinner may be reversed: the majority of you would not mind a partner earning less. About half of you are happy with the idea of not marrying him either, and a surprising 40 per cent suggest you may remain childless.

Apart from a sprinkling of models (Kate Moss) and pop stars; high-profile role models reveal an attraction to strong personalities: Emma Thompson, Zeinab Badawi of Channel 4 News, Kate Adie, Jennifer Saunders, Joanna Lumley, Vivienne Westwood, Cherie Blair and even Margaret Thatcher. A refreshing few were just happy to be themselves.