Girls at risk because of ‘pressure to be perfect’ at school

Teenage girls are at risk of developing eating disorders and other mental health problems because of intense pressure to be “perfect at everything”, a leading academic has warned. This is from the Telegraph…

Young women face suffering from a serious loss of confidence as they attempt to live up to the major expectations placed on them by parents and schools, it was claimed.

Carrie Paechter, professor of education at Goldsmiths, University of London, said many girls were turned into “projects” by mothers and fathers who attempt to fill their lives with increasingly busy schedules.

In some cases, they are expected to learn instruments to a high standard, excel in sport and gain good academic grades to make sure they stand out in a male-dominated world, it was claimed.

But she warned that the sheer weight of expectation being piled on many young women – particularly those attending private schools – can prompt binge drinking and eating disorders.

Speaking ahead of the Girls’ Schools Association annual conference next week, she said: “There are girls in private schools who are ‘projects’ of their parents, learning two or three instruments to grade 8 standard and excelling in sport and academia because they feel that is what is expected of them… But a few of them end up in anorexia clinics complaining that their schools only cared about their results.

“Good schools need to start looking at girls and saying, ‘This is too much, you do too many things’.”

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