We're nervous about meeting new men, prefer popping out to see a friend than going shopping and most of us would have cosmetic surgery. Who are we? Were Welsh women and for the first time ever WM reveals all of our secrets.
WOMEN BEHAVING BADLY
On the road
South Wales Police say some women drivers are now breath- testing at two or three times the legal drink-drive limit. Sgt Nigel Whitehouse, road safety traffic manager at South Wales Police, said, More and more females are being stopped for offences.
More and more are being prosecuted. Its not just boy racers, weve got girl racers as well. More and more females are being arrested for drinking and driving. I dont know whether they think they can get away with it or dont realise the dangers of what theyre doing. Weve had a number who have been very, very intoxicated two or three times over the limit.
Playing away from home
We might not like to admit it, but Welsh women do have some lax views when it comes to fidelity. Sixty-six per cent of you have cheated on a partner and 48% of those thought it was worth it. And to make matters worse youre more likely (20%) to cheat with your partners friend or family. Even men (at 16%) dont stoop that low!
Forgetting your mind
Now we all like to relax when having a drink, but it seems that some of us take it too far. And were not exactly being safe when were blotto. Fifty-five per cent of Welsh women have had unprotected sex putting them at risk of any number of sexually transmitted infections, and unwanted pregnancy. Two thirds were more likely to engage in a sexual activity after a drink but 45% said they regretted this 21% even had to seek medical attention afterwards.
Wrong side of the law
Official Home Office figures show that offences commonly committed by girls under 16 included criminal damage, shoplifting, buying stolen goods and fighting. But as they grew older they turned to fraud. A fifth of offenders identified as having a drug problem were female in the year to September 2001. The drugs problem
Women with an illegal drugs habit spent an average of £328 on drugs a week compared to £255 for men.
Nearly half of all Welsh women say they are unhappy with their bodies and a quarter say they would consider having plastic surgery. Of those that would be willing to undergo the procedure, most said they would opt for non-surgical procedures. And half said they would have botox.
The gift of the knife
For those that would consider undergoing surgery, liposuction is the most popular procedure with nearly two thirds of women prepared to undergo surgery, saying they would consider it. Over half of Welsh women would also consider buying cosmetic surgery or a cosmetic procedure as a gift for friends or a loved one.
Abreast of the best
The top three cosmetic surgical procedures women said they would consider are: 1 Breast surgery, 58%, cost £5,750 2 Liposuction, 33%, cost £4,450 3 Tummy tuck, 25%, £5,200
CHEERS NOW AND ALL THE BEST
Welsh women certainly know how to have a good time, but the trend towards binge drinking is damaging their health and driving them towards dangerous behaviour. But despite this, most say theyre happy with their drinking habits.
How much is enough?
A staggering 82% of women drink well over the daily recommended amount. And when on boozy nights out, 10% admit to not stopping drinking until they were sick, while 7% say they wait till they fall over. Around 38% say they have cheated on a partner after a night on the booze, with a third of women admitting it led to sex.
And worryingly a quarter of women have driven a car even though they suspected they were over the legal limit. Nearly 10% had also been asked to leave a pub or club after drinking too much. Drinking also results in more women smoking with nearly a quarter of non-smokers saying were more likely to smoke on a night out. One in 10 women were more likely to take drugs when they have been drinking and 61% will stop off for a kebab, pizza, burger, chips or curry on their way home during a night out.
Not surprisingly nearly three in 10 women felt drinking was having an effect on their health and 6% had sought medical help. And while 38% say they only drink to get drunk, one in 10 say they drink every night, a quarter of whom say they do it to unwind from stressful days at work. But the majority of women felt their drinking habits were under control and 50% said drinking adds to their quality of life.
Cost of night out
33% of Welsh women who will regularly spend up to £30 n 23% will spend up to £40 n 11% will spend £50 or more
The long and short of it
Average height: 5ft 3inches
Average weight: 11st/70kg
Waist size: 83cm/32.5inches
Hip size: 105cm/41.5inches
Bra size: 36B Age concern
Life expectancy: 80.1 years
Women living in Monmouthshire live on average three years longer than those in Blaenau Gwent.
- 24% smoke n 40% have never smoked
- 66% of smokers would like to give up
- 44% of smokers have sought help to give up
- 22% Welsh women drink more than the recommended daily amount
- 24% have used illegal drugs
- 21% aged 19 to 24 have smoked cannabis
- 4% have used ecstasy
According to the Welsh Consumer Council women are less likely than men to be in favour of a total ban on smoking, although Welsh women are more in favour of restrictions in designated areas.
12% visited an NHS dentist within the last year On average 9% have private health cover
Getting your fill
Percentage of Welsh women who regularly eat the following foods:
- Meat 92%
- Pasta 85%
- Biscuits and Cakes 84%
- Cereal 84% ~
- Fruit 83%
- Alcohol 67%
- Sweets 64%
- Yoghurt 43%
Only 15% meet their 5-a-day recommendation, with women in their 20s eating only 1.8 portions of fruit a day. 15% of women eat no fruit at all Women are more likely to consume fruit than men. Younger women are more likely to consume savoury snacks, pasta, rice and cereals whereas older women (over 50) are more likely to consume eggs, fish dishes, tea and coffee.
Forty per cent take vitamins to supplement their diet, with the most popular being cod liver oil; 24% are on a diet to lose weight, although diets are 3% more popular with women aged 24 to 35; 7% are vegetarians (although this rises to 11% amongst 19 to 34 year olds); 33% believe GM food should be banned; 46% want to know whether they food they buy is GM or not. But heres the good news according to the Welsh Consumer Council women are more knowledgeable than men about healthy eating!
The C word
Wales has the fourth highest incidence of breast cancer in Europe. Welsh women are twice as likely to suffer from it than the next most prevalent cancer, which is lung. Women living in Carmarthenshire are most at risk and those in Newport least at risk. Seventy-eight per cent of women aged 54 to 65 have been screened for breast cancer. Dr John Stewart, director of the Welsh Cancer Intelligence Unit, said incidents tended to be higher amongst higher socio-economic groups and also in women who put off having children until later in life.
Top three cancers affecting women in Wales
1. Breast cancer: one in 11 chance of contracting it before youre 75
2. Lung cancer: One in 32 chance of contracting it before youre 75
3 Colon cancer: represents 8.4% of all cancers for females
Welsh women are more likely to be stressed than in any other area of the UK. 50% claimed they regularly felt stressed; 86% complained this stress had an effect on their sex lives. Women aged between 20 and 24 are most likely to be stressed by work whereas those aged 34 to 35 are more likely to be stressed by their family life; 10.8% suffer from mixed anxiety or depression.
Forty-eight per cent of us are obese and 78% of those who are overweight said they would have cosmetic surgery.
IF WE TOOK A HOLIDAY...
It seems that Welsh women cant get enough of Spain. Its been the favourite destination since 1995, though Greece and France are hot on its heels. Frances Tuke of the Association of British Travel Agents said, Spain was the birthplace of package holidays in terms of real volumes of tourists heading to the Costa Del Sol for the food, culture and good weather. It presses all the right buttons. City breaks are very popular in Barcelona, Madrid and Bilbao and lots of Welsh people have holiday homes in Spain so theres widespread travel there.
Having your cocktails, food and activities all paid for is a big temptation for Welsh women. You love to get a good bargain with holiday deals, especially if youve got kids, with 59% going on all-inclusive deals this year.
Going it alone
Cant get anyone to share that week away with you? Then youre joining theincreasing number of Welsh women who prefer to travel independently.
There was a 3% rise in those of us jetting off alone in search of a solo adventure, compared to 40% in October 2004.
LETTING YOUR HAIR DOWN
Getting out of the house
A third of women go out twice a week and 15% go out a whopping three times a week. How on earth do you get up in the morning? And wWheres the money coming from? Well, 33% of women regularly spend up to £30 on a single night out; 23% up to £40; and 11% think nothing of shelling out amounts of £50 and more.
Whats your tipple?
A nice glass of vino, thats what. Wine sales are booming at the moment because women cant help but grab a glass or a bottle of wine. Our discerning palate for quality vino, has propelled UK alcohol sales by 30%: last year it broke the eight billion-litre barrier. As many as seven in 10 of us drink wine, and we prefer white wine to red, but only just. Blame that on those unsightly purple teeth at the end of the night.
A bit of a do
As much as we love socialising with our friends, its the big celebrations that Welsh women love. If were invited to a hen do well each spend about £551 travelling abroad to do it in style. One in three of us head abroad to mark that final fling, plumping for Spain first, then the Netherlands and France.
Over the limit
Were not too good at sticking to the recommended drinking guidelines with 33% drinking more than we should. And 12% of us binge drink, while the rest drink an average of 3.3 units on our heaviest boozy days. And one in 10 women will only stop drinking when they are sick, 7% prefer to carry on until they fall over and a fifth of women are sick the next day.
We love to
1 Go to the cinema 21%
2 Go to an outdoor sports event 7%
3 Go to the opera or ballet 7%
4 Go to an indoor sport event 3%
5 Go to a pop concert 3%
Welsh actress Rakie Ayola talks about becoming a mother at 36, and how things have changed for new mums
Whats it like being an older mum?
I wouldnt say its better than having a child earlier because whenever you have them you still know nothing. If theres stuff that you need to do then its probably better to do it first. But it doesnt make you a better parent. Financially you may be more secure but thats it.
What made you wait?
In my early 30s I thought I would like to have a child but there was no-one I wanted to have a baby with. Thankfully I then met my husband. We had only been married for three months when we had our daughter, but we had been together for about four years.
More than half of all babies born in Wales are born outside of marriage do you think thats a bad thing?
Its an interesting statistic and one I didnt know. But I dont care at all. We planned to get married and actually booked a wedding in August 2003 and then found out in the October that I was pregnant. If we had conceived and not been getting married we would still have had the baby. What ever works for you.
How do you think new mums are different today than in the past?
Among the people that I know, a lot of them are more willing to take advice from experts today, which usually means books and TV programmes. They watch Little Angels and Supernanny and take notes. People arent just accepting the advice from their relatives without question any more.
What are your feelings on abortion?
Its definitely a womans choice and Im absolutely pro-choice. If thats what you want and what you think is the right choice then do it. I would say dont be forced into doing it and dont be forced into continuing with a pregnancy you dont want.
Sarah Hendy, 25, a television presenter, tells us the dos and donts of the living together milestone
Are you living with somebody at the moment?
Im living with my man at the moment and we actually decided to move in together quite quickly. We had only been going out for six months when we bought our place in London. We were tired of paying separately for rent.
Had you lived with friends previously?
I lived with friends when I was in uni. When youre at uni its carefree. Its nice to have people there all the time, but you have to be easy going. I found the experience really good mainly, except when I lived with a vegetarian! She wouldnt share her food and got really funny about people touching her stuff.
Are there any downsides to sharing your home?
On the whole its pretty good, apart from when he leaves the milk out and I have gone-off milk on my cereals in the mornings, and when he leaves the lid off the toothpaste! Women may worry that theyll be lumbered with all of the cleaning but it doesnt have to be like that. I dont do all the cleaning, I make sure that if I take the sheets off the bed, he washes and irons them!
Any final tips?
Dont get Sky Sports whatever you do! Have a word with someone at Sky and sort out a deal...avoid that and youll live a happy life!
TV weather presenter Sian Lloyd, 46, talks about her impending marriage to MP Lembit Opik and why its not going to be the biggest day of her life
Tell us about your forthcoming wedding
Were due to get married in January. Weve just been so busy, which obviously shows what store I put in marriage doesnt it? We were going to get married in October in Powis Castle but things got out of control and the more I read about the whole wedding thing the more I thought what a rip off! So I decided I would do it my way, and thats small and sweet rather than the Cecil B Demille production it was going to be.
Why have you waited so long to tie the knot?
Ive never been someone who has defined myself by getting married. Im not particularly religious so its not going to be the biggest day of my life. I guess with Lembit it was right and never a big deal, it felt natural and instinctive. Hes very keen and I can make both of us happy by doing it. Its consolidating the partnership rather than having a dream day or getting a ring on my finger.
Why do you think so many women are waiting longer to get married?
The independent, career-minded women I know define themselves by their friends rather than just by their partner. We have gay friends, single friends and were independent financially. I would hate to rely on a man financially. Women used to marry in order to be looked after, but that doesn't apply to women in my peer group any more.
That weekend trip...
Its no surprise to all of us that we love to spend some of our spare time trooping round the High Street indulging in the latest fashions. But who we shop with can dramatically alter our day. If Welsh women shop with their partner they spend £87 on average, thats £23 more than women in the rest of the UK. But if they go it alone, they spend the greatest time shopping 2hr 43min and only spend £47. Now thats a figure worth mentioning when the male in your life complains about going to those last few shops!
On the box
It might not be the most healthy activity but we cant stop watching the television. We spend 2hr 12min a day watching our favourite programmes, and while we also like to listen to the radio, we still prefer the telly.
With your loved one
On average a Welsh woman will spend 2½ hours a day with her partner, but this is more likely to be two hours on a weekday and 3½ at the weekend. But if you live with your partner youll spend half an hour less with him than your married counterparts.
Top 10 leisure activities
1 Visiting friends or relatives at their home
2 Walking or hill rambling
3 Eating or drinking out
4 Shopping for non essentials
5 Hobbies or special interests
7 Informal sports or relaxation or well being
8 Visiting a leisure attraction, place of interest or exhibition
10 Going to a park/garden
Television presenter Amanda Protheroe-Thomas on staying looking good
How do you make sure you stay so fit and healthy?
I do a lot of exercise. I try to do something every day and only have one day off a week. I go to spin classes, which are 45 minutes of cycling, and I go running with my dog and do box-exercise and circuits as well. I also try to eat healthily. I dont do faddy diets but when Im working I do find it hard to eat well and regularly.
But Ive learned that your body is like an engine, you need to keep fuelling it and not skip breakfast or lunch. I try not to eat too many carbohydrates in the evening and restrict my fat intake. I feel if I eat healthily in the week then I can relax at weekends and go out for a meal or eat a little more of what I want.
Do you eat organic food?
I would but I find its so expensive it ends up doubling your bills. I do eat a lot of fruit and vegetables but it tends to be mainly whats available. I tend to make most of my meals from scratch and eat meat or fish with vegetables but I do make an effort to read what it says on the packet.
Being fit and healthy has always been important to me and its important for my career as I need to be bright eyed and bushy tailed for my job. Its a way of life for me. I find it hard to lose weight, so I have to try not to put it on.