Jewish Girls Not Immune to Self-Destructive Behaviors
Reveals a new survey
In her last column on the Huffington Post, Leslie Goldman, author of Locker Room Diaries: The Naked Truth About Women, Body Image, and Re-Imagining the “Perfect” Body, made some pretty bold assertions: “To be Jewish is to have an eating disorder,” she wrote, adding that “Jewish women are the authority on this body image stuff.” This month, she presents the results of a Jewish Women International survey of 200 Jewish day school principals, camp directors, and the like on their experiences with girls and “self-destructive behaviors” including eating disorders, self-mutilation, and bullying.
Eating disorders ranked as the number one concern, followed by bullying (number one among girls aged 9-11), and JWI found that problems with substance abuse and risky sexual behavior rise precipitously when dealing with girls aged 12-15. While it’s unclear exactly whether the available data support the idea that Jews are somehow more at risk for specific behaviors because of cultural factors, as Goldman has asserted, it can’t hurt to have someone taking note that “Girls everywhere are suffering; we owe it to the younger generation to help undo the damage done by impossibly high academic standards, the media’s portrayal of unrealistic bodies and Photoshopped beauty, and the whirlwind of other factors which combine to make young women feel like they don’t measure up.”
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180
WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.
I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.
We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.