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Study: Sexed-up Social Media Damaging Girls’ Mental Health

Hypersexualization and the Social Media: Does it Fucks Up Our Children’s Brain or What?

emotional-problem  Study: Sexed-up Social Media Damaging Girls’ Mental Health emotional problemYoung girls’ mental health is being damaged by the vast number of explicit and sexualized images on social media and in advertising, leading to a spike in anxiety according to new figures.[1] Scientists found that social, peer and behavioural problems remained relatively constant for boys and girls across the five years. But the rise in emotional issues reported by girls suggested they faced unique pressures, the researchers suggested. [3]  The study by University College London (UCL) and the Anna Freud Centre found that emotional problems have risen 55 percent over the last five years, with the worst affected being young girls aged 11-13 years. Co-author Dr Elian Fink from the Evidence Based Practice Unit (EBPU) said:

The fact that other mental health issues stayed about the same makes us think that there must have been significant changes over the past 5 years which have specifically affected young girls. Whatever is causing the rise of emotional problems, it is clear that we need more effective interventions. These might include encouraging teachers to look out for emotional problems in young girls and increasing provision of youth mental health services. [1]

The study compared the mental health of 1,683 schoolchildren in 2009 to that of a demographically similar sample of 1,683 schoolchildren from 2014. The pupils were matched by age, gender, ethnicity, eligibility for free school meals and the overall socio-economic mix of their schools.  [6] According to figures, published today in the Journal of Adolescent Health, the number of girls at risk of emotional problems rose from 13 per cent to 20 per cent in 2014 – meaning that, in an average class of around 30 pupils, where previously one or two girls might have exhibited emotional problems, now there would be three.  [6] Study co-author and EPBU director Dr Miranda Wolpert said:

This study highlights the significant and growing emotional problems reported by young girls today. We can’t say for sure why problems are increasing, but there are many factors that could contribute. These include increasing stresses on girls and young women, ranging from academic pressure to their increasing sexualization and objectification amplified by social media. [1] [4]

girl_crying_over_guy  Study: Sexed-up Social Media Damaging Girls’ Mental Health girl crying over guyGirls aged between 11 and 13 are now more likely to worry, lack confidence or feel nervous than they were five years ago because they feel under pressure. [4]  The rise in girls suffering from emotional problems may be linked to stress brought on by seeing images of women portrayed as sex objects on Facebook, Twitter and other websites, researchers from University College London believe. [4] Both hypertexting and hypernetworking are strongly associated with a range of poor health outcomes including substance abuse, sexual activity, absenteeism and fighting, according to a study printed in The Nation’s Health in 2011. [2]  Teens send an average 60 text per day, with 20 percent of students reporting that they are hypertexters, sending more than 120 texts per school day. More than 11 percent of students reported spending 3 hours or more a day on social networking sites. [2]  The classes sampled in the research were not nationally representative, as 38 per cent of the children in the study were from ethnic minority backgrounds, compared with a national average of 20 per cent.  While Dr Sharpe acknowledged that the study was not representative of England as a whole, due to the higher percentage of children from ethnic minority backgrounds used compared with the national average, she said: “our data did not show significant differences in emotional problems between children from different ethnic backgrounds. “As a result, I think we can be confident that the increase that we saw would apply across the board despite the unrepresentative sample.” [6]  Commenting on the research, Dr Elian Fink, lead author of the report, said: “5 years is a relatively short period of time, so we were surprised to see such a sharp spike in emotional problems among girls.” [6] But the study is the latest of many that shows anxiety is increasing among schoolgirls.  Official figures released last month showed that one in five girls of primary school age has been on a diet.  Research by the Government Equalities Office found that as young girls progress through school, their body image deteriorates rapidly.  [5] The Body Confidence Progress Report 2015 states that poor body image is a ‘public health problem’ and an ‘equalities issue’ that can limit the opportunities available to women and girls.  [5] It also found that nine out of ten teenage girls think statements about girls and women on TV and in magazines focus too much on what they look like, instead of what they achieve. [5]

More of the Same Crap! To Fix This Liberals Want More Sex Education… and Earlier

sex-education-fraud  Study: Sexed-up Social Media Damaging Girls’ Mental Health sex education fraudThe liberals think that to solve this “problem” we need more sex education and that wee need it earlier.  The issue of perceptions of sex and sexuality among young people and children is a profoundly political one – not least in the field of education. In the UK, recent government efforts to improve the delivery and quality of sex education in schools came under fire last month when the organization which developed the current curriculum blasted the government for not applying it to what they say is the necessary extent. [1] The lessons were designed by the Personal Social Health and Economic Education Association (PSHEA) for use in British schools. While the scheme was officially back by the government on Sunday, they stopped short of making it mandatory. [1] PSHEA says sex education should begin well before people become sexually active, while still stressing the legal age of consent should remain at 16.  [1] Their program covers issues including the impact of alcohol on consent, child sexual exploitation and the debunking of myths about rape and sexual violence. In a statement released on their website, PSHEA said while they were happy their efforts had been highlighted, they were “deeply disappointed that the secretary of state did not use this opportunity to respond to the recent recommendation from the Education Select Committee that PSHE be made a statutory part of the curriculum.” [1]

Liberals Want More Shrinks in the Schools… This Can’t be Good…

child-psychologist-  Study: Sexed-up Social Media Damaging Girls’ Mental Health child psychologistFunding cuts to mental health services might also be to blame for this rise in emotional problems among girls, some have suggested. Speaking to the Telegraph about the findings of the research, Dr Helen Sharpe, from the UCL department of psychology and language sciences, said that the key message of the report was that emotional problems are sometimes “overlooked” in schools. [6] It is also possible teachers may focus more on behavioural and conduct issues as these tend to disrupt classrooms, she told the BBC. [3]  To help overcome this, researchers suggest staff should be given the right resources to look out for emotional problems. [3]  And they argue mental health services should be more widely available. Which of course more shrinks and more psychiatrists in the school system.  Sarah Brennan, of the charity YoungMinds, said: “This research is shocking further concrete evidence of the serious and worsening state of children and young people’s mental health in this country.” [3]  “Young people tell us they feel enormous pressures today ranging from bullying, the 24/7 online environment and sexual pressures to issues around body image, school stress and family breakdown. [3] The last comprehensive national survey of children’s mental health was undertaken by the Office for National Statistics more than a decade ago.  The Royal College of Psychiatrists says there is now an urgent need to conduct another one to gather accurate estimates of mental health problems and plan services accordingly. [3]

[3]  Smitha Mundasad, Girls face ‘sharp rise in emotional problems’, BBC News, 20 April 2015
[6] Josie Gurney-Read, ‘Sharp rise’ in number of school girls with emotional issues, The Telegraph, 12:01AM BST 20 Apr 2015
[7] Mariel Norton, The dangerous impacts of social media and the rise of mental illnesses, The Next Web, 10 May ’14, 04:00pm
[10] Mark Austin, The impact of social media on young minds needs serious attention, ITV News, 30 November 2014 at 11:58am
[11] Social media: how does it really affect our mental health and well-being?, Medical News Today, Wednesday 16 April 2014 at 8am PST
[12] Survey shows decline in girls’ wellbeing, The Day, Tuesday, 21 April 2015


About Bill Wallace

Bill Wallace is a self-fashioned writter, a computer programmer and cybermarketer from Quebec City, Canada who decided to enter the political arena after his disillusionment with the socialist system under which he was living in the French Canadian province of Quebec.

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