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Teenage girls are facing impossible expectations

Dave_BerryDave_Berry 492 replies2432 discussionsCC Admissions Expert Posts: 2,924 Senior Member
"At a moment when girls enjoy historic opportunity -- watching Chloe Kim and Mikaela Shiffrin soar to gold, and Oprah preach girl power from the Golden Globes stage -- teen girls tell researchers they are twice as depressed, anxious and stressed out as boys. And though girls beat out boys in college and graduate school admissions, according to a University of California-Los Angeles study, female college freshmen have never been lonelier or less happy." ...

Opinion.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/27/opinions/girls-power-expectation-depression-opinion-simmons/index.html
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Replies to: Teenage girls are facing impossible expectations

  • TooOld4SchoolTooOld4School 3310 replies12 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,322 Senior Member
    Maybe they are lonelier because 60%+ of college students are female.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 32206 replies336 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 32,542 Senior Member
    edited March 2018
    Have to admit my eyes rolled at the idea a sports or media figure is the role model or that, aw geez, girls can't cope because they're under so much pressure to tick up their social media or hone their bikini bodies. It's dismissive.

    C'mon. In the words of my generation, would you use the same standards and arguments about boys?? Would you go on about an athlete or actor as the right inspiration, the pressures of gaming and exercise? And women have been under "role overload" for a long time, several generations.

    Plus, it's an opinion piece. A little plug for her book.
    edited March 2018
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  • tutumom2001tutumom2001 1194 replies2 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,196 Senior Member
    And women have been under "role overload" for a long time, several generations.

    I think this is true, but they didn't have every move tracked on social media. Even before I read the article, I said aloud to myself, "It's the da## Snapchat." One of my friends who is responsible for overseeing an ad agency's social media efforts was telling me that teenage girls are expected to get at least 300 likes per each Instagram post or there is pressure to take the post down. Girls will go so far as to create multiple accounts so that they can follow themselves and make it look like they have even more followers. The other day, D20 gave me her phone for a couple of hours while she was studying for a test because she was getting distracted by Snapchat notifications. In that short amount of time I had her phone, she received something like 244 snaps.

    I see a lot of my D20 in the article, and yes, she does put way too much pressure on herself to be "perfect" and I can already see some signs of anxiety and depression. I've been telling her that she doesn't have to be perfect, but now I'm going to try the article's suggestion about explaining how society has put unreal expectations on girls. Maybe it will help.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 32206 replies336 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 32,542 Senior Member
    edited March 2018
    Not all girls with high aspirations and pressures are chained to social media in this way. Self control is a good thing.

    And women and young women have been feeling societal pressures for a long time. We had to learn to cope with that, too. Maybe the difference is we never resolved the superwoman complex. Now we push it on our daughters earlier.
    edited March 2018
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  • MaineLonghornMaineLonghorn 37357 replies2040 discussionsSuper Moderator Posts: 39,397 Super Moderator
    edited March 2018
    @tutumom, my D will be 20 next month. She's been treated for anxiety for about three years now. She tells me that a lot of her female friends are struggling, also. She's a champion for counseling and has convinced several of them to take advantage of the school's counseling services. My D isn't consumed with social media, she just puts a lot of pressure on herself.
    edited March 2018
    Post edited by MaineLonghorn on
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  • TooOld4SchoolTooOld4School 3310 replies12 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,322 Senior Member
    edited March 2018
    @JenJenJenJen , Gender imbalance always creates odd dynamics. Ask anyone who has lived in DC, where single women outnumber single men, and where the women are much more highly educated. There is some truth to the stereotype of lawyers dating carpenters, though less now then in the past.

    The main articles premise that women can't live up to role models is pretty tired and old.
    edited March 2018
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  • RightCoasterRightCoaster 2864 replies4 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,868 Senior Member
    I'm a parent of 2 boys so maybe my views on this are biased. I've gone thru my son's media page to see what's up from time to time. Here's what I find...

    Boys social media posts: stupid crap like NBA dunks, sports bloopers, pics of guys holding trophies, rap stars smoking weed, memes of all sorts, sneakers, video gaming, and then some pics of themselves.

    Girls: pics of themselves, pics of themselves with friends, pics of hot celebrities, pics of bathing suits, pics of cute pupipies, pics of hot guys, fashion pics, pics of themselves on the beach, of themselves at parties, pics of clothes they want to buy, etc. etc.

    For the most part, none of those things are helping the kids on any level.

    ***disclaimer: I may be out of touch
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  • JenJenJenJenJenJenJenJen 1098 replies18 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,116 Senior Member
    @TooOld4School I'm not familiar with the dating scene in D.C. (nor anywhere, to be honest, as I too am "too old" and have been married for too many years), but if female lawyers are clinically anxious and depressed because they are dating carpenters, there must be something larger happening than gender ratio disparity. Citation about the correlation between white collar women dating blue collar men and female depression, please?

    Furthermore, those aren't college aged kids you're talking about.
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  • romanigypsyeyesromanigypsyeyes 33157 replies766 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 33,923 Senior Member
    I hit middle school at the birth of MySpace and was in high school when Facebook was is in its infancy. I saw changes in real time as social media exploded.

    I tend to not have self esteem issues but I'm a shy introvert. The first bit of college was hard because I saw social media happiness and it amplified my existing depression and anxiety.

    I have deactivated my social media accounts several times when my depression worsens. I only keep it active so I can see pictures of my nephew.

    Otoh, with surveys like this, it's worth remembering that it's more ok to admitted depression, especially women, than it ever has been before.
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  • JenJenJenJenJenJenJenJen 1098 replies18 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,116 Senior Member
    ^^ @romanigypsyeyes Anxiety, too! It's like it's some sort a stressed-out badge of honor, practically, these days.
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  • InigoMontoyaInigoMontoya 1697 replies7 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,704 Senior Member
    edited March 2018
    ^^^ As someone who has gradually been working her way out of depression, I don't see having the strength to admit you are suffering from anxiety or depression as a badge of honor. Personally I think it's empowering that people can now talk about these illnesses more openly. It was enlightening to me the first time I ever heard of imposter syndrome - I always thought I was the only one who felt that way - to read about it happening to Tina Fey - wow!

    I'd hate to see us go back to days when you hid your anxiety by using "Mother's little helper"
    edited March 2018
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  • kelsmomkelsmom 15407 replies98 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 15,505 Senior Member
    I work at a graduate school, and I have definitely seen a really noticeable uptick in anxiety among our students over the past 5 years (average age of our students is 28.5). I am seeing it in both men and women. I can't say definitively why this is so, I just know that it "is." However, I suspect it has something to do with livign in a 24/7, hyperconnected world with non-stop information and non-stop expectations.
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  • jonrijonri 7256 replies134 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 7,390 Senior Member
    @JenJenJenJen

    There's a difference between young women who choose to attend an all female college and young women who go to a co-ed college expecting a fairly equal number of men and women and discover that there aren't. At least a decade ago, there was an article about UNC-CH--which at the time was 60% female and climbing---and the impact that had had on campus.

    There was a time when lots of MIT males looked askance at their female classmates because it was so much easier to get in. At some LACs, it's that situation in reverse. The males in the AGGREGATE are less qualified than females and the female students know it. At some small schools like Vassar a fairly large percentage of the student body may be openly gay, so if you are a straight female the pickings can be pretty slim. I'm NOT talking about getting a MRS degree. I'm just talking about having a chance to have some romantic experiences in college. And, as you get older and move up to being a senior, the pickings are even slimmer.

    I know young women who ruled out Haverford because of the nearby presence of Bryn Mawr, which they felt skewed the "real" ratio for social purposes. But there are also a lot of other colleges in Philly.When you go to a rural LAC where it's less likely you'll meet people from other schools it's more of an issue.

    I agree that the issues are the "'same old" ones. "Reviving Orphelia" was a popular book about the issue a good number of years ago.

    Also....it's just reality IMO that medication has made in much more common for students with mental health issues to attend college. A generation ago, a young woman with anxiety, depression, or suffering from an eating disorder was highly unlikely to graduate from college. Now, thankfully, they can. But yes, there are more young women with these disorders on campus now so the percentage of female students on campus with these issues has increased. It doesn't mean that the percentage of young females with these issues in the US has increased. Maybe it has---I don't purport to know. But a LOT of the freshman females with these issues had them before they entered college.

    Back in the day, lots of young women had these issues--looking back the Homecoming Queen at my high school almost certainly had anorexia, but none of us had ever heard that word.



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