Scary and hugely pressurising, would be Steve Biddulph’s answer. In his timely new book, Raising Girls, Biddulph says that about five years ago (around the time that sexting and camera-phones were taking off) psychologists began to notice a marked and sudden plunge in girls’ mental health. The average teenage female was “stressed and depressed in a way never seen before”. Girls were growing up too fast, much faster than their mothers had. Our 18 is their 14, our 14 is their 10.
Mainstream media has made porn-inspired sex seem compulsory for girls at ever younger ages. “So what?” says the liberal parent who doesn’t think it’s cool to challenge their child’s lifestyle choices, and may secretly envy them. Biddulph has harsh words for these hands-off mummies and daddies: “Having your daughter as a friend – so much easier than actually raising her,” he mocks. (Read entire article.)