Recently, I attended a book launch in Bristol, England for, the book, “Raising Girls” by Steve Biddulph. Steve Biddulph is a child psychologist and family therapist who has spent the last 30 years publicly speaking to over 130,000 parents about boys. His books are in 4 million homes and have been translated into 31 languages. Steve believed the subject of boys to be his life’s work and that girls were going “great guns,” but several years ago began to notice that girlhood has literally become a nightmare.
Steve believes that young women are in the middle of a mental health crisis with eating disorders, cutting, bullying, anxiety and depression affecting one in five girls. In addition, La Trobe University, which carries out a study of adolescent sexuality every six years, has shown that in 2008 the percentage of 17 year olds that had slept with three or more partners had doubled in six years. Over 30 years, this group had grown from about four per cent to twenty per cent of all girls and shows no sign of slowing down.
Girls have lost four years of their childhood. The pressures we dealt with at 18, they are now battling with at 14. The trouble being that 14 year old girls are not equipped with the emotional tools to deal with these types of problems. Girls are trying to look together, but really they are struggling. (more…)