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Study: Girls Struggle More Than Boys Through Middle School

The report from St. Mary's College found girls

A team of researchers at St. Mary’s College in South Bend released a report today that studied the health, behaviors and education level of girls in Indiana ages 10-19.

The Status of Girls in Indiana report is the brainchild of St. Mary’s President Carol Mooney, who says she hopes the information will influence Indiana educators, policy makers and health professionals.

The report covered seven sections. Here’s a list of those sections and the researchers main conclusions:

  • Education: While girls tend to perform better while in middle and elementary schools, they perform lower than boys on standardized tests such as the SAT.
  • Physical Health: Indiana high school girls are not as physically active and tend to be more overweight than their male peers.
  • Media Usage: The rate of computer usage in the U.S. is higher than the rate in Indiana.
  • Reproductive Health: Many high school girls are sexually active, and a lot of them do not use the birth control methods but the report shows the rate of birth control use is increasing.
  • Substance and Alcohol Abuse: More girls than boys in 8th and 9th grades use inhalants, over the counter drugs, and prescription drugs.
  • Mental Health: One third of Indiana’s 8th grade female students reported feelings sad and hopeless. Girls are also more likely to consider, plan or even attempt suicide than boys.
  • Violence and Abuse: Girls are more likely to be sexually abused than boys. 14.5 percent of Indiana high school girls reported being raped in 2011.

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