Sarah Marsh from the Guardian writes:
More than 100,000 children aged 14 in the UK are self-harming, with one in four girls of this age having deliberately hurt themselves, according to a new report.
In figures that show the scale of the mental health crisis affecting young people, the Children’s Survey analysed a survey of 11,000 14-year-olds which found that a quarter of girls and nearly one in 10 boys had self-harmed in a year.
The report also included a survey of children aged 10-17 and their parents across 2,000 households, which found that the issues of most concern to children were school and their appearance.
Nearly a quarter (24%) said they heard jokes or comments about other people’s bodies or looks all the time, while more than a fifth (22%) of those in secondary school said jokes or comments were often made about people’s sexual activity. Both made girls feel much worse about their appearance and less happy with their life as a whole, but this pattern did not apply to boys.
The Children’s Society report suggested that both boys and girls can be harmed by gender stereotypes and the pressure to live up to them. Children said they felt under pressure from friends to be good-looking, but those who felt boys should be tough and girls should have nice clothes were least happy with life.