Girl Guides: ‘Girls accept controlling relationships as ‘normal’ in digital era’

Half of British girls learn all of their information about sex online, which is “warping” how they view relationships in the real world, according to a landmark study from the Girl Guides. This is from the Telegraph

Two-thirds of British girls believe sex education in schools fails to teach them enough about relationships, while 48 per cent complain that these lessons “have not prepared them well for life”. The report of 1,200 girls aged 16 to 21 also revealed that one fifth of young women believe it is acceptable for a partner to shout at them and tell them what they can and cannot wear.

Other figures in the Girls Guides survey, seen by The Telegraph, showed two-fifths of girls think it is fine for a partner to insist upon knowing their whereabouts at all times.

Becky Hewitt, director of Girl Guides, one of the largest women’s charities in the UK, with more than half a million members, said: “Girls everywhere are now getting a huge amount of information about sex and relationships online and this is warping what behaviour they think is normal in the real world.

“At the moment they are being left to navigate this complex world on their own. We think improving and updating sex education in schools is vital, which is why Girls Guides is backing the Telegraph Wonder Women better sex education campaign.

“Right now there is a ‘following’ culture online,” Hewitt said. “Girls carry their mobile phones in their pockets everywhere they go, regularly sharing their location and what they are doing with people on sites like Facebook and chat apps, such as Whats App.

“It is this culture of surveillance and monitoring that is seeping into their lives offline – and making girls feel that it is perfectly acceptable for boys to demand to know their location and what they are doing at all times.”

Girl Guides also found, in focus groups with girls from across the country, aged 11 to 17-years-old, that many young women accept jealousy and controlling behaviour as a “normal” part of relationships – and even see it as “endearing”.

Girl Guides is helping to tackle this issue with the release of an education pack about healthy relationships, in conjunction with Women’s Aid. It is continuing a programme of peer education sessions, in which trained girls talk to their contemporaries on a range of topical issues such as bullying and self-esteem, eating disorders, sex and relationships, youth health, and stress management.

More than 60 of Britain’s leading groups representing parents, teachers and sexual health experts have signed a letter to The Telegraph urging David Cameron to urgently update sex and relationships teaching guidance that is 13 years old and “behind the times”.

More at:  Girl Guides: ‘Girls accept controlling relationships as ‘normal’ in digital era’

See the Telegraph supported petition at: David Cameron: Bring sex and relationship education into the 21st century #bettersexeducation

Are you surprised at the extent to which girls seem to accept controlling behaviour in their relationships and how this seems to be increased through the culture of social media? What do you think can be done to change it? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments or on twitter… 

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Comments

  1. OverTheFoghorn

    Trisha_the_doc SchoolsImprove This is not only frightening but sad. Worst of all, even highly educated men seem to think it’s okay!

  2. OverTheFoghorn

    Trisha_the_doc SchoolsImprove I’ve dated guys who think it’s okay to go through your mail. My recent ex-boyfriend went through my texts.

  3. OverTheFoghorn

    Trisha_the_doc SchoolsImprove I think only a two sided approach – educating both boys and girls – can tackle the problem.

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