​94% of teenage girls have been body-shamed

A new study suggests that it takes women half their lives to achieve half the level of body confidence of teenage boys.

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06 January 2016, 3:27am

A new study has found that 94% of teenage girls in America have been shamed because of the way their body looks. The Yahoo health survey collected data from a representative sample of 2,000 people in America between the ages of 13 and 64, finding that 70% of male respondents are either body positive or neutral, but that the opposite is true for women: 66% of female respondents are body negative or ambivalent (have a love hate relationship with their bodies).

Speaking to Yahoo, body image expert and psychologist Sari Shepphird says there are many reasons for the disparity between the sexes, explaining that, "Within our culture, it's fair game now to comment on a woman's weight, regardless of her age." "It used to be that only happened for women who highlighted their bodies, like models," Shepphird adds, noting the increased and constant scrutiny of their appearance women face on social media.

Teenage boys are on average 3.5 times more body positive than teenage girls, but worryingly a very high percentage of all teenagers have been body shamed, with 64% of teenage boys saying they have experienced body shaming, and an enormous 94% of teenage girls reporting that they have. Perhaps this is one reason why it takes women until middle age to achieve as much body positivity as the average teenage boy. The study reports that the rate of body negativity in women is fairly consistent as they age, but that women who feel ambivalent about their body are more likely to become body neutral over time.