A third of young girls worry about their body

A third of eight to eleven-year-old girls worry about their bodies, a survey by Ofsted shows.

This figure has grown to half by the time they reach fourteen.

The survey of almost 150,000 children also revealed that during the previous month six per cent had used cannabis in the past four weeks and sixteen per cent had been drunk.

Other major areas of worry for the ten to fifteen-year-olds included family and exams.

Earlier this year, research by the Mental Health Foundation and Girlguiding UK found that young girls were suffering from pressure to grow up too quickly.

Commenting on the research, Dr Andrew McCulloch, the Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation, said: “Somewhere, somehow, our society has taken a wrong turn in our approach to children and young people.

“Young women face particular pressures. This report provides evidence of the impact of real and perceived pressures around sexual behaviour, physical appearance and material values.

“We are forcing our young people to grow up too quickly and not giving them the spaces and experiences they require to be safe and confident. We are creating a generation under stress.

“This is our responsibility as adults and adult society to put right.”

Related Resources