Adolescence takes a toll on teenage girls


Staff Graphic by Kendall Wilson

The immense pressure put on today’s teenage girls leads to worsened depression, anxiety, and overall mental wellbeing.

The controversy of girls versus guys is one that most likely everyone has encountered – everyone has gotten into a debate about which gender has it the worst. However, we have yet to come to a definitive conclusion. In my opinion, teen girls do have a harder time, especially when it comes to mental health. 

One of the biggest factors in teenage girls’ deteriorating mental health is social media influence. Girls are undoubtedly more prone to damaged egos and other toxic effects than guys are. According to The New York Times, as girls become teenagers, they usually become more disappointed with their bodies; yet boys become more satisfied with theirs.

The main reason for this: social media posts from girls often rely more on their physical appearance than their accomplishments. Therefore, if the post does not receive as many likes or comments as they were hoping for, they feel it has something to do with their appearance. This leads to girls feeling pressure to craft a post that will please all of their followers, even if it means shattering their view of themselves in the process. Additionally, teens tend to face feelings of jealousy and desire just by scrolling through social media and seeing the way other girls look.

Another big difference between the pressure girls and boys feel is the expectations people have for women to look “perfect”. In an article by Thought Catalog, the beauty standards for girls are revealed as impossible and unattainable. It’s more difficult to be a girl simply because they’ve been shown they need to go the extra mile to look the way they should; ex. wearing makeup, shaving, and obtaining a flawless figure. 

Girls are undoubtedly more prone to damaged egos and other toxic effects than guys are.

Another point brought up is the double standards between men and women. The media is quick to portray the glamour of men having multiple relations with women, but many women face ridicule and offensive language for far less.

Another factor in the poor mental health of teenage girls is the growing stress school creates. Most teenage girls feel the need to achieve “perfect” grades, which in turn leads to them putting an unnecessary amount of pressure on themselves. This, undoubtedly, only leads to worsened anxiety and depression. School-related stress can be a problem for all kids, not just girls. Most boys can also relate to the struggle of trying to handle immense amounts of school work. However, according to Mayo Clinic, depression rates are higher in females than in males after puberty, and this may tie into the more prominent effects of school work on female students.

One thing that can worsen this stress in teenagers is a lack of support from parental figures. Of course, this isn’t true for all families, but harsh comments on the grades of teens will only add to the problem at hand. A quick solution for all families is to just watch what they say to their children. This sounds simple, but some don’t realize how even the littlest things they say can have a great impact on their kids. Conversations about a teenager’s weaknesses or flaws in school or other areas are not casual conversations to have around others, as stated by The New York Times

I’m sure as time goes on the debate of girls versus guys will remain strong, and I doubt either side will ever truly win. I believe the evidence for the intense pressure put on today’s teenage girls outweighs that of teenage boys. Nevertheless, neither gender has it easy, so instead of fighting about which side has it harder, we should strive to find a way to relieve the pressure put on kids as a whole.