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Thread: Growing Misery Among Girls, Young Women

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    Growing Misery Among Girls, Young Women

    A new survey out of the UK finds that girls and young women in the age range of 7 to 21 have experienced a major drop in happiness with their lives over the last decade that is simply not mirrored by what their male counterparts have experienced over the same period.

    In 2009...

    41% described themselves as "very happy".
    11% said they were "unhappy".

    In 2018...

    25% describe themselves as "very happy".
    27% say they are "unhappy".

    Those who say they are unhappy with their lives say that it has affected their confidence (61%), health (50%), relationships (49%), and studies (39%). It mirrors the similar findings of another recent survey of young women out of the UK which finds that 25% of young women are struggling with anxiety and/or depression, representing a major increase over the last decade, and similar findings among girls and particularly young women indeed across the Western world over the course of the last decade, including here in the United States. The studies all tend to find similar causes being stated: increased poverty or economic insecurity (perhaps resulting from the Great Recession and the overall trend toward neoliberal economic policies), increasingly intense testing regiments at school, and also lots of more or less sex-specific causes such as intensifying pressure to constantly appear "perfect" in the age of omnipresent phones and social media, as well as increasing worry about, and experience of, sexual violence and harassment. For example, the summary of the first report cited above points out that "More than half of [girls and young women in the UK] aged 13 to 21 have felt unsafe walking home alone, experienced harassment or know someone who has, and nearly half feel unsafe using public transport."

    Social media is the single most commonly cited cause of increased stress and misery among young people in general, but far more especially (as in about twice as often) among young women today in these surveys overall. For example, a recent Ontario-based student survey found that...

    "...researchers found that 61 per cent of girls who used social media for more than five hours a day indicated moderate to serious psychological distress, compared with 33 per cent of boys. Girls who spent more time on social media were also more likely to say they had thought about suicide in the past year, an association, the research found, that was not significant for boys. At the same time, disconnecting entirely wasn’t necessarily a solution: girls especially who were never or rarely on social media reported slightly poorer mental health than those using only one hour a day."

    The summary of the first survey above concentrates the difference between a decade ago and today among female youth in particular in this area well: "In 2009 69% of girls met friends at each others’ houses, compared with 21% in 2018". The internet, in other words, is today the primary way that girls and young women meet and become friends in the Western world, and this trend is tending to yield both more physical and emotional distance between those friends compared to in the past; it is tending to cause girls and young women to view their friendships more in competitive terms than as legitimate alliances. Girls and young women today view each other more as competitors than as allies in life, resulting in an increased sense of isolation and fear.

    Let me suggest that something needs to be done about this. Something needs to be done about all of these causes (we need, frankly, some wealth redistribution and job security IMO, and more reasonable regiments of testing at our schools that could be guaranteed by eliminating the currently ongoing reorganization of Western public school systems along competitive lines), but about the most commonly cited one, social media, in particular. Most especially, I think there need to be more rules guarding against the use of social media as a bullying tool so that today's girls and young women can actually escape those who bully them again at some point, as they used to be able to. And we need to take pornography seriously in the age of constant access to the internet and a largely unregulated industry, and especially the involuntary pornification of today's girls that occurs far more often today than in the past because of the omnipresence of smart phones, such as the surreptitious photographing of girls undressing in the bathroom and the posting of said photographs online without consent or the sharing thereof with friends or teammates for purposes of mockery or masturbation. And we need to re-establish physical spaces for connection between girls and women, to which end we need to re-validate the idea of female-only groups and spaces instead of insisting upon the validity only of sex-neutral groups and spaces because the fact is, and it has been borne out by many, many, many studies over the decades, that female-only environments tend to help build the confidence of girls and young women, and of women in general in fact, and increase the likelihood of positive, meaningful female friendships being forged, and their disappearance in recent decades on the grounds of political incorrectness has caused real harm by reducing those opportunities.
    Last edited by IMPress Polly; 10-07-2018 at 11:08 AM.

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    Probably because hard line feminists keep jamming misery down their throats 24/7
    my junk is ugly

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    As usual, I appreciate your helpful and well-thought-out contribution, Captain.

    Next worthless troll post!

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    In the first half you claim "simply not mirrored by what their male counterparts have experienced over the same period." Where's the data on males.

    The problem reported in the second half has a simple solution, stop using the Internet so much.
    Edmund Burke: "In vain you tell me that Artificial Government is good, but that I fall out only with the Abuse. The Thing! the Thing itself is the Abuse!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    In the first half you claim "simply not mirrored by what their male counterparts have experienced over the same period." Where's the data on males.

    The problem reported in the second half has a simple solution, stop using the Internet so much.
    To your first point: some of the data about boys and young men is contained in the above articles themselves, which you could've bothered to read before responding. More, of course, can be found via Google. In this country, for example, girls are about twice as likely as boys to tell surveyors that they have been diagnosed with depression according to our most current data and the rate of such diagnoses has also risen twice as fast for girls over the last decade as it has for boys.

    As to the second point, I believe I pointed out that in the OP that the internet itself doesn't seem to be the issue. Boys who spend five hours a day or more online are only half as likely to experience psychological distress as girls who do the same are. That's not an internet problem; that's a problem of how differently society treats girls compared to boys. Also, as the Globe and Mail highlights about the Ontario-based survey, some online activity actually helps girls. More evidence that the internet itself isn't the problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IMPress Polly View Post
    To your first point: some of the data about boys and young men is contained in the above articles themselves, which you could've bothered to read before responding. More, of course, can be found via Google. In this country, for example, girls are about twice as likely as boys to tell surveyors that they have been diagnosed with depression according to our most current data.

    As to the second point, I believe I pointed out that in the OP that the internet itself doesn't seem to be the issue. Boys who spend five hours a day or more online are only half as likely to experience psychological distress as girls who do the same are. That's not an internet problem; that's a problem of how differently society treats girls compared to boys. Also, as the Globe and Mail highlights about the Ontario-based survey, some online activity actually helps girls. More evidence that the internet itself isn't the problem.
    contained in the above articles themselves
    Link 1, no, link 2, no, only link 3 which has to do with not with happness but with time spent online vs time spent with friends.

    One would expect a correlation between time online and distress. No, it's not an Internet problem, but a problem of spending too much time online doing who knows what--participating in forums, lots of people find that distressing.

    Just saying there are many ways to read the data.
    Edmund Burke: "In vain you tell me that Artificial Government is good, but that I fall out only with the Abuse. The Thing! the Thing itself is the Abuse!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    Link 1, no, link 2, no, only link 3 which has to do with not with happness but with time spent online vs time spent with friends.

    One would expect a correlation between time online and distress. No, it's not an Internet problem, but a problem of spending too much time online doing who knows what--participating in forums, lots of people find that distressing.

    Just saying there are many ways to read the data.
    You don't read very well then because the data was presented pretty clearly and presents a paints a pretty clear picture.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IMPress Polly View Post
    You don't read very well then because the data was presented pretty clearly and presents a paints a pretty clear picture.
    Oh, ok, it's my problem.

    Don't you have a better argument than that?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    Oh, ok, it's my problem.

    Don't you have a better argument than that?
    Argument about what? You didn't present an argument. All you have said substantively so far is: "The problem reported...has a simple solution, stop using the Internet so much." That's a statement, not an argument. I feel that my several-paragraph commentary in the OP sufficiently explains my position, including why your simplistic "solution" fails to get to the heart of the matter (to say nothing of its sheer lack of realism).

    I really feel that I have put more effort in here than you have.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IMPress Polly View Post
    Argument about what? You didn't present an argument. All you have said substantively so far is: "The problem reported...has a simple solution, stop using the Internet so much." That's a statement, not an argument. I feel that my several-paragraph commentary in the OP sufficiently explains my position, including why your simplistic "solution" fails to get to the heart of the matter (to say nothing of its sheer lack of realism).

    I really feel that I have put more effort in here than you have.

    My argument is the data you link to simply does not support your intepretation. On the only data comparing girls and boys I offered an alternative explanation.

    Effort? So you try harder means you're right? Sorry, I prefer facts and logic.
    Edmund Burke: "In vain you tell me that Artificial Government is good, but that I fall out only with the Abuse. The Thing! the Thing itself is the Abuse!"

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