Self-Esteem, Abuse and Body Image


  • Forty-two percent of first to third-grade girls want to be thinner, while 81 percent of 10-year-olds are afraid of getting fat.
    (Dove Real Beauty Campaign, 2004)
  • Eighty percent of 10-year-old American girls say they have been on a diet. The number one magic wish for young girls age 11-17 is to be thinner.
  • Rates of depression are the same among boys and girls until puberty, but twice as many women are diagnosed as depressed post-puberty.
    (National Institute of Mental Health)
  • Fifteen percent of rape survivors are under the age of 12.
    (Crisis Intervention Center, 26 Jul 2011)
  • In 2008, 57% of the rape or sexual assaults against females were committed by an offender whom they knew. Strangers committed about one third (31%) of all rape/sexual assaults.
    (Bureau of Justice Statistics, Female Victims of Violence, 2009)
  • Twenty to 25% of women in college reported experiencing an attempted or a completed rape in college.
    (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Books, Research Studies and Articles

Women Afraid to Eat: Breaking Free in Today’s Weight-Obsessed World; F. Berg Brumberg and Joan Jacobs.

The Body Project: An Intimate History of American Girls; Joan Jacobs Brumberg.

Losing It: America’s Obsession with Weight and the Industry that Feeds on It; Laura Fraser.

The Macho Paradox: Why Some Men Hurt Women and How All Men Can Help; Jackson Katz.

Boys Will Be Men: Raising Our Sons for Courage, Caring and Community; Paul Kivel.

Men’s Work: How to Stop the Violence That Tears Our Lives Apart; Paul Kivel.

Young Women’s Lives: Building Self-Awareness for Life; M. Nell Myhand & Paul Kivel.

SchoolGirls: Young Women, Self-Esteem, and the Confidence Gap; Peggy Orenstein.

The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women; Naomi Wolf.

Recommended Organizations

About Face

The Body Positive

Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty

NOW Foundation’s Love Your Body Campaign

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