Entries in Teenage Girls (2)


'Thigh Gap' New and Unhealthy Obsession for Teen Girls

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A new body trend is apparently becoming an obsession among teenage girls.

It’s the thigh gap, a clear space, or gap, that can be seen between the thighs when a girl is standing with her knees together. Some runway models have it, and teen girls want it.

ABC's Good Morning America sat down with four high school juniors from a New Jersey Chapter of Students Against Destructive Decisions to discuss this latest trend.

The four girls told ABC News’ Juju Chang that they all had friends that were intent on achieving the thigh gap. Emily Rozansky told Chang that, for many teens, the thigh gap symbolized “the ideal body shape.”

Social media sites such as Tumblr, Facebook and Twitter have devotees who flood the zone with images of thigh gaps, bony collarbones and confidence-crushing messages disguised as “inspiration” for staying thin.

Some of the most popular pictures showcase very thin girls with protruding hip bones and a thigh gap.

The teens told Chang that the sites make them feel they have to conform.

Angela DePalma, 16, said, ”I see those pictures on Tumblr and stuff and I think that wow, like, they look so good. And then I realize how unhealthy that is.”

Tumblr says it discourages blogs that actively promote or glorify self-harm.

According to teen psychologist Barbara Greenberg, statistics show that 80 percent of girls dislike their bodies by the time they are 17 years old. That, combined with a tendency to overshare, makes teen girls vulnerable to even the most subtle messages.

A quick online search brings up page after page of thigh gap inspiration photos and supporters. Experts say the images alone can lead to self-destructive behavior, especially since the thigh gap is, for most girls, an unrealistic standard of beauty.

Greenberg said teens who were pursuing a thigh gap were “setting themselves up for not only an unattainable goal but for an unsustainable goal.

“Even if they reach it, it’s going to be very hard for them to maintain it,” she said.

Surprisingly, some girls’ motivation to have a thigh gap isn’t to make themselves more desirable to boys. The New Jersey students told Chang that some boys don’t even notice it.

It’s strictly a girl thing, affecting popularity and status, they said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


CDC Report Finds Majority of Teen Girls Not Having Sex 

Hemera/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Judging by the content of today's TV shows, you would think every teenager is having sex.

That's a fallacy, according to the latest study by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which looked at the habits of females ages 15 to 19 over a five-year span ending in 2010.

The CDC reports that 43 percent admitted to having sex—down from 51 percent in 1995.

This increase in abstinence and the fact that sexually active teenage girls are using more effective forms of birth control account for the pregnancy rate dropping to 34 births for every 1,000 females—a decrease of 44 percent from the 1990's.

Overall, 368,000 infants were born to teen mothers in 2010, the CDC reports.

Study author Crystal Pirtle Tyler says, "We know there have been declines in teen pregnancy, which is wonderful, and increases in abstinence among teens, which is really wonderful also. There have also been increases in contraceptive use." Those contraceptives include the pill and the patch.

Tyler adds that the number of teenage girls having sex would fall further if doctors spoke more openly with their patients about putting it off until they got older.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio