UK survey finds decline in happiness of young women Watch

Spirithorse
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There has been a sharp decline in happiness among girls and young women in the UK in the last decade, with the majority of them blaming exams and social media for causing stress, a major survey has found.

Read more about it here

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CTLeafez
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I think the rise of social media, especially instagram has had a significant effect on the self-esteem of young women.

The rise of these instagram "models" aren't really helping. Especially since a good portion of them use editors to photoshop them to look even more "attractive".

When you have photos of perceived 10/10s at your finger tips whenever you log-on, it isn't going to make you feel particularly good about yourself.

I doubt the current economic climate has helped either, with stable decent jobs and affordable housing being a thing of the past. Young adults are having to spend more time living at home, essentially being unable to advance in life.
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Trinculo
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Wow. Carried out by Girlguiding UK. Because that's a representative cohort.

And what's that you say? n=1903?

This kind of cutting edge social sciences is just what we need in the modern era.

Surely the headline should be "Brownies and guides less happy." And they could investigate if the causes are reduced time playing duck duck goose and increased Trangia cooker prices.
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AngeryPenguin
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Sexual harassment, online abuse, and rape culture have increased a lot since 2003, sadly.
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vicvic38
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(Original post by AngeryPenguin)
Sexual harassment, online abuse, and rape culture have increased a lot since 2003, sadly.
How about no? (Excepting online abuse of course.)

Awareness of these issues has increased a lot since 2003. I find it terribly hard to believe that more women are being assaulted today than have been in the past. People are more aware that it isn't ok, and I think that might also be driving a fear in young women.

People are more likely to speak up about these abuses, and that's great.
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Johnny English
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Social media plays a big part in young people's lives and I would suggest plays the biggest part in their unhappiness . It is an addictive obsession that can be very harmful and damaging . I see young mothers on their way to school playing with their phones on a regular basis without any consideration for other motorists ...but it is the young kids who I fear for most.
I just wish that they could see the pointlessness of it all . I have never been tempted to enrol and engage myself ...mainly because I am too old , too fat and too ugly . It's very difficult making friends when you spend all day preferring the comPany of my dog . I have no real desire to impress or meet anyone , although loneliness sometimes rears its ugly side.
I just think parents need to be much stricter with their kids and get out into the fresh air with them more ...a healthier lifestyle perhaps .
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HighOnGoofballs
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(Original post by Trinculo)
Wow. Carried out by Girlguiding UK. Because that's a representative cohort.

And what's that you say? n=1903?

This kind of cutting edge social sciences is just what we need in the modern era.

Surely the headline should be "Brownies and guides less happy." And they could investigate if the causes are reduced time playing duck duck goose and increased Trangia cooker prices.
First time a TSR comment has made me laugh, good job.
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ilem
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This trend has been ongoing for decades. It's what happens when you pressure women to be less effective men instead of just women.
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QE2
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Not in my neck of the woods there isn't.
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mojojojo101
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(Original post by vicvic38)
How about no? (Excepting online abuse of course.)

Awareness of these issues has increased a lot since 2003. I find it terribly hard to believe that more women are being assaulted today than have been in the past. People are more aware that it isn't ok, and I think that might also be driving a fear in young women.

People are more likely to speak up about these abuses, and that's great.
I think it would also be worth pointing out that while awareness of these issues has increased significantly societies ability to deal with the necessary consequences really hasn't kept up pace.

I'd posit there is a difference between being a victim and knowing that nothing will be done and being a victim and knowing that something should be done but isn't.

(Original post by CTLeafez)
I think the rise of social media, especially instagram has had a significant effect on the self-esteem of young women.

The rise of these instagram "models" aren't really helping. Especially since a good portion of them use editors to photoshop them to look even more "attractive".

When you have photos of perceived 10/10s at your finger tips whenever you log-on, it isn't going to make you feel particularly good about yourself.

I doubt the current economic climate has helped either, with stable decent jobs and affordable housing being a thing of the past. Young adults are having to spend more time living at home, essentially being unable to advance in life.
I think this is almost certainly a bigger driver of unhappiness than social media... it's just a lot more systemic and difficult to change so the blame is pinned primarily on Facebook and Instagram.
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vicvic38
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(Original post by mojojojo101)
I think it would also be worth pointing out that while awareness of these issues has increased significantly societies ability to deal with the necessary consequences really hasn't kept up pace.

I'd posit there is a difference between being a victim and knowing that nothing will be done and being a victim and knowing that something should be done but isn't.
My point is not so much that it has reduced, just that there it is so incredibly unlikely there is more. It is just the newfound attention these cases are getting that makes it seem that way.
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AperfectBalance
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(Original post by AngeryPenguin)
Sexual harassment, online abuse, and rape culture have increased a lot since 2003, sadly.
Yeah....Rape culture, that thing that certainly exists
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hezzlington
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Young people are so incredibly impressionable these days.

We all know social media is a highlight reel of lifes best moments. We all know there is photoshop involved. We all know its contrived and not real.

Why are we so bloody insecure. Get a grip.
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hl1479
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I think don’t think it’s down to social media for the majority - speaking from an 18yo girl’s perspective. People speak as if we are some fragile minded “snowflakes”, i mean social media does play a large part in lots of people’s lives - but why are people targeting teens?! Adults too spend time on social media - we all have the same access and exposure to the photoshopped photos of glamorous and flawless models whether its from social media, ads or magazines. The pressure of looking good isn’t a big reason women might be getting less happy. When my friends and I see a photo of a hot person - we just say “damn that’s hot”, but nothing else, maybe the occasional “i need to diet lol” but nothing else. We are aware that these photos are all angled and photoshopped to make them look flawless - its jot like we r oblivious but i think its more other pressures but im not sure what it could be. But for me - its the education bit; the stress of exams and applying for uni
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Dankey
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Agree with most of the people commenting that it is about social media and the effect it has on young women seeing all these Instagram models with physical features that like 1 millionth of the population have
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hl1479
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(Original post by Dankey)
Agree with most of the people commenting that it is about social media and the effect it has on young women seeing all these Instagram models with physical features that like 1 millionth of the population have
Yeah but it’s not like we’re stupid - we know that those are unrealistic bodies that have been photoshopped. Your mansplaining - literally you don’t know the minds of girls on Instagram(we know if something is fake); if ya don’t know properly,, dont say it. Like i dont get why men are assuming that its because of social media, because ITS NOT for the most part. Please stop assuming stuff!!!! We have brains too, we think too, we know stuff too and the potential bad effects it would have on someone who has low self esteem - but that’s what’s made ppl in this generation more critical of people and sources. We aren’t a gullible and stupid bunch like you probably think.
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ThomH97
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Exam stress comes from people actually having greater ambitions that are on the line when you take exams. In a way, that's a good thing. Girls aren't just sitting exams with no pressure knowing none of it will matter when they become a housewife - they intend to use those qualifications and the stress is from knowing they need to do well.

Social media is bad for your mental health, but that cat's out of the bag now. Parents can try to limit usage, but the age groups in question here are the kids who grew up being bombarded with adverts attacking their self esteem from a very young age.
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username917703
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(Original post by AngeryPenguin)
Sexual harassment, online abuse, and rape culture have increased a lot since 2003, sadly.
(Original post by AperfectBalance)
Yeah....Rape culture, that thing that certainly exists
This.
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fallen_acorns
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my grandmas generation:

Most young girls:

- had no social media playing with their brains
- far less advertising/fashion industry messing up their body images
- believed they would find a good man, who would take care of them and provide for them
- stayed home, spent hours and hours with their children, raised them, cared for them
- could get a job if they wanted to, but didn't need, to and most chose not to
- had an abundance of women's groups and women's clubs. Girl guides, church groups, WI groups, after-school girl groups etc.
- huge social circles of house-wives, organizing family, community, school and church evens, and keeping life interesting for all
- on average had happier and longer marriages
- on average were healthier, slimmer and happier
etc. etc.

There are some women who are very focused, and career orientated and want to go out there and lead the world. But the truth is - remove societal stigma, and most women by the time they are in their late 20s, are happiest at home looking after their children and their family.

So it should be easy to have happier women these days? we are all for freedom and choice right? every woman can have what she wants? Except no - from a young age, they are pressured and pressured and pressured in all sorts of ways to conform to the standard of the highly achieving alpha-woman, that society says all women should be! They will be laughed at if they say all they want to do is marry, and be taken care of by their husband.. laughed at if they say they don't want to work after they get married.. laughed at for wanting to be a housewife etc.

So no wonder they are upset. Sure back in my grandma's youth, the alpha-women were upset, because they couldn't lead their lives in the way they have desired.. but since then we have swung things so so far in the other direction, that now for non-rich women, the only route is alpha-woman or feel ashamed.

Unfortunately there are far more house-wife woman then alpha-woman - to put them into two crude categories.. so on average woman, are less happy.. young women get this worse than any.
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username917703
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(Original post by fallen_acorns)
my grandmas generation:

Most young girls:

- had no social media playing with their brains
- far less advertising/fashion industry messing up their body images
- believed they would find a good man, who would take care of them and provide for them
- stayed home, spent hours and hours with their children, raised them, cared for them
- could get a job if they wanted to, but didn't need, to and most chose not to
- had an abundance of women's groups and women's clubs. Girl guides, church groups, WI groups, after-school girl groups etc.
- huge social circles of house-wives, organizing family, community, school and church evens, and keeping life interesting for all
- on average had happier and longer marriages
- on average were healthier, slimmer and happier
etc. etc.

There are some women who are very focused, and career orientated and want to go out there and lead the world. But the truth is - remove societal stigma, and most women by the time they are in their late 20s, are happiest at home looking after their children and their family.

So it should be easy to have happier women these days? we are all for freedom and choice right? every woman can have what she wants? Except no - from a young age, they are pressured and pressured and pressured in all sorts of ways to conform to the standard of the highly achieving alpha-woman, that society says all women should be! They will be laughed at if they say all they want to do is marry, and be taken care of by their husband.. laughed at if they say they don't want to work after they get married.. laughed at for wanting to be a housewife etc.

So no wonder they are upset. Sure back in my grandma's youth, the alpha-women were upset, because they couldn't lead their lives in the way they have desired.. but since then we have swung things so so far in the other direction, that now for non-rich women, the only route is alpha-woman or feel ashamed.

Unfortunately there are far more house-wife woman then alpha-woman - to put them into two crude categories.. so on average woman, are less happy.. young women get this worse than any.
A lot of truth to this.
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