Family Experience, General, Parents

Are girls thriving… or just surviving?

Here at Girl Scouts we believe that (like a rising tide lifting all boats) when the world is a better place for girls, it will be a better place for everyone!

We are extremely interested in the “State of the Girl” or, in simple terms, what it’s like to be a girl in today’s world. Are girls thriving or just surviving?

To help us understand this important question, the Girl Scout Research Institute (GSRI) conducts original studies to inform national conversations about girls and their development, while also measuring the impact of Girl Scout programming on our members.

How are girls doing?

In a recent publication called The State of Girls: Thriving or Surviving, the GSRI highlights some challenges girls are facing in areas like economic well-being, physical and emotional health, and education.

For example, when it comes to economic well-being,

Today, a growing number of girls are delaying marriage and childbearing, going to college, and entering the workforce. However, there is still a gender gap in adult labor force participation rates. In 2010, about 72 percent of working-age women (18 to 64) were in the labor force, compared with 81 percent of working-age men.

Want more details on these complex issues facing girls? We’ve got 156 pages for your reading pleasure! Not ready for that much reading? Scroll through to page 135 for a snapshot comparison of how girls in different racial/ethnic groups are faring across various aspects of well-being.

And what is Girl Scouts doing?

Girl Scouts is dedicated to building girls up. Period. So when we find an issue facing girls, we make sure we’re doing something to help!

When our research shows that girls (and boys) “spend less time outdoors than they did 20 years ago”, but we know that there are health benefits to the outdoors that go beyond physical activity, we check to be sure our girls are getting outside in beneficial ways!

When our research shows that girls are interested in STEM but men are twice as likely as women to major in science and engineering fields, we dive into our Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math programming to ensure that girls who participate in Girl Scout STEM programs are building their confidence in those fields.

Does Girl Scouts work?

The research says yes — there are so many benefits of Girl Scouts! Check out our DNA of a Girl Scouts graphic below for some of the beneficial life skills girls in Girl Scouts are more likely to have than non-Girl Scouts.

What does your Girl Scout DNA look like? Do you see these benefits in yourself?


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