Teen girls are struggling. They need our help | Nancy Jo Sales

Girls and young women report rising rates of suicide, depression and sexual violence in North America – and a lot of it has to do with social media

Teenage girls are in crisis, and have been for some time. The CDC’s recently released Youth Risk Behavior Survey has received a great deal of media attention, but it’s only one of many alarming studies, even before the pandemic, charting rising rates of depression, suicidal ideation and suicide in girls.

A stream of thinkpieces are asking what lies behind girls’ unhappiness. Some blame social media. Others cite sexual violence: the CDC report found that girls are experiencing an increase – with 14% of them the victims of forced sex, a figure at least three times higher than for boys. Others have speculated that it’s a more generalized misogyny that’s making girls feel hopeless.

Nancy Jo Sales is a writer at Vanity Fair and the author of American Girls: Social Media and the Secret Lives of Teenagers

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Category: Mental Health