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Report: Social Media to Blame for Low Self-Esteem in Young Women

Report: Social Media to Blame for Low Self-Esteem in Young Women

A new report in the United Kingdom finds that social media is the biggest contributor to the large decrease of confidence in teenage girls.

The Schools Health Education Unit finds that one in three 15-year-old girls reported having high self-esteem, said an article on Telegraph.com. Overall, "just 33 percent of girls aged between 14 and 15 felt good about themselves- compared to 41 percent in 2007."

"More than half of boys aged 14 to 15 were found to have the highest levels of self-esteem, the article said. "Girls ranked ‘the way you look’ as their biggest concern, beating school work, family and money issues."

The report found two thirds of 15-year-old girls "said they were 'too fat' and 41 percent said they'd had nothing to eat or drink for breakfast" and "53 per cent of girls aged 12 and 13 – and a third of girls aged 10 and 11 - said they wanted to lose weight."

"Researchers have suggested that the decline in girls’ confidence and self-esteem could be directly linked to their online activity," the article said. "They cited the emphasis on images – easily exchanged via the internet – as a factor. It was also acknowledged that social media has changed the face of bullying, with girls no longer able to leave upsetting behaviour at the school gates and continuing to experience friendship problems online."

The study found that "three in four girls aged 14 to 15 regularly chatted on social media, with one in five speaking to someone that didn’t know. One in eight had received a message they found distressing. And a third of all pupils questioned had looked for porn, violent images and games online."

Angela Balding, the article said, who managed the survey, said "the unit was aware of the new pressures about being online and of online bullying. We can also see among the pupils with low self-esteem that they are much more likely than their peers to have experienced bullying at, or near, school in the past year.”

Read the full story and comment below. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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