Girl Scout Research

Girl Scouts of the USA has developed a second-to-none research institute that has helped our nation understand the perception and reality of today's girl.  The Girl Scout Research Institute's survey, Girls and Body Image (2010), revealed alarming statistics about teen girls' relationships with the media and fashion industry.

  • Nearly 90% of girls surveyed say the media places a lot of pressure on girls to be thin
  • 60% of girls compare themselves to models
  • Body dissatisfaction can result from this comparison, and leads to serious health problems, such as unhealthy eating and dieting habits
  • More than half of girls, 55%, admit they diet to lose weight and
  • 31% admit to starving themselves or refusing to eat as a strategy to lose weight.

Negative body images aren't the only cause for concern.

  • Only 32% of African American girls think the fashion industry does a good job of representing people of all races and ethnicities.
  • Less than 1/3 of speaking characters in children's movies are female.
  • Sexualized messages and images of girls and women also negatively impact boys.

What are we doing to combat this media messaging?

  • We listen.
  • We speak up.
  • We advocate for girls.
  • Won't you join us?

We have made a solid commitment to develop programming and policy solutions that promote girls' healthy living and media literacy. In partnership with the Dove Self-Esteem Fund, Girl Scouts of the USA has created the journey program, It's Your Story, Tell It!, to help improve girls' media literacy skills.  This is just one way that we are speaking up - and teaching girls that there is a different way to think.  By joining the Girl Scout Advocacy Network, you can also help be the voice for girls! 

More research topic portfolios by the Girl Scout Research Institute include: