Teen girls "engulfed" in sadness and violence, new report says
Teen girls are experiencing record high levels of sadness and violence, according to a new report published Monday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Driving the news: According to the report, 57% of teen girls in 2021 reported feeling "persistently sad or hopeless" over the past year, up from 36% in 2011 and the highest rate seen in the last decade.
- By comparison, 29% of teen boys reported feeling persistently sad or hopeless in 2021, compared to 21% in 2011.
- LGBTQ+ students and students with same-sex partners also reported high levels of sadness and hopelessness in 2021, at 69% and 78% respectively.
State of play: About 30% of teen girls said they had seriously considered attempting suicide, up from 19% in 2011.
- About 14% of teenage boys said the same, a marginal increase from 13% in 2011.
- LGBTQ+ students (45%) and students with same-sex partners (58%) also reported seriously considering suicide.
- American Indian or Alaska Native students, at 27%, reported higher rates of such thoughts than students of other racial or ethnic backgrounds.
Of note: 18% of teen girls said they had experienced some form of sexual violence in the past year, compared to only 5% of teen boys.
- The rate of teen girls who have experienced sexual violence has increased by 20% since 2017, when the CDC first started tracking the measure, per ABC News.
- "The percentage of male students who experienced sexual violence by anyone did not change," the report stated.
Nearly 15% of teen girls said they had ever been forced to have sex, a 27% jump from 2019 and the first increase since the CDC began tracking the metric, per the Washington Post.
- 4% of teen boys said they had ever been forced to have sex, with no increase reported.
- 18% of American Indian or Alaska Native teens reported ever having been forced to have sex, higher than students of other racial and ethnic groups.
- LGBQ+ teens (20%) and teens who had any same-sex partners (37%) were more likely to have ever been forced to have sex.
What they're saying: "America's teen girls are engulfed in a growing wave of sadness, violence and trauma," Debra Houry, the CDC's chief medical officer, said at a press briefing Monday.
- "Over the past decade, teens — especially girls — have experienced dramatic increases in experiences" of violence, poor mental health, violence and suicide risk, Houry added.
- "The numbers are unprecedented," Kathleen Ethier, director of the CDC’s Division of Adolescent and School Health, said Monday, NBC News reported.
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