The quiet destruction of the American teenager

Teenage girls are harming themselves at record rates. Shame on all of us.

Depressed teenage girl sits in hallway in the dark
(Image credit: iStock/AntonioGuillem)

In the United States, one in four teenage girls have cut or burned or otherwise harmed themselves deliberately, according to findings from sociologists reported recently in The New York Times.

This statistic cannot be stage-managed. It is a stark, unignorable indictment of this country and the way that we are raising our children. It is not a state of affairs that can be explained away. A quarter of American girls, with no intention of committing suicide, mutilate themselves.

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