HICE: Why the Dramatic Increase in Teen Girl Suicides?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released a new study focused on the dramatic increase of suicides among teenage girls over the last few years. The results are shocking. They reported that between 2019 and 2021, suicide attempts by high school girls increased by 51%, which translates into one out of every three girls. In contrast, attempts by teenage boys increased by 4%.
Why are teenage girls in such emotional despair? Why have so many lost meaning, hope, and the will to live? To find answers, we must be brutally honest by facing reality and not simply passing blame to some faceless excuse. There are a variety of factors in society that disproportionately affect young females compared to young males. Some people are blaming the COVID-19 pandemic, and although that certainly impacted the psyche of many, why would that issue impact teenage girls more than boys? There must be other considerations. It seems more likely that the blatant undermining of women by “woke” liberal ideologues, along with multiple “voices” speaking into their lives on social media with unrealistic expectations, are two significant issues that are having a devastating toll on young women.
For example, our current culture is actively undermining women by failing to answer the simple question, “What is a woman?” When radical elitists cannot even define a woman, what does that do to adolescent girls? It leaves them mired in an identity crisis and makes them feel like someone who is undefinable rather than being regarded as a valuable person and affirmed in their womanhood. The last few decades have been focused on equalizing women and men instead of celebrating their inherent and unique differences.
God made two sexes for a reason, largely to complement one another. But today, girls are taught that there are no real differences between the sexes, and that one’s perception defines the individual, not biological reality. And, as the sexes are being erroneously merged, privacy in bathrooms, showers, and locker rooms are also being removed, along with self-worth and self-identity. But as any reasonable person can readily observe, there are vast differences between male and female. Each young woman should realize that she has been created to fulfill her own God-given purpose.
Another aspect to the problem is an overall breakdown of the family, and a lack of parental involvement in the education of kids. Students, specifically teenage girls, are left to weather the storm of woke lectures and educational assignments that question the basics of physiological reality. How is a young woman to know that she is immensely special and valuable if she doesn’t have anyone affirming her? Parents need to be involved in not only what their daughters are being taught in schools but also affirming truth in their lives at home.
As if by an act of absolute insanity, biological males are now being allowed to unfairly compete in women’s sporting events. Why should a young lady even try for athletic greatness as a woman when the titles and competitions are being stolen by males with an inherent biological advantage? This is just another example of how women are being undermined and devalued by liberal woke ideology.
And to exacerbate the problem, there are constant narratives and literally hundreds of voices speaking into the lives of young girls every day through social media, pouring across the mental screens of our youth, telling them that if they adhere to a specific routine or subscribe to a certain lifestyle, they will be happier. But that happiness is temporary and shallow, because it is not rooted in anything substantial. Teenage girls watch peers highlight their lives on social media and constantly compare themselves. Conflicting ideas about the ideal body image, daily habits, clothing aesthetics, and more have created unattainable standards. When teenage girls try and fail to achieve these standards, they are met with disappointment, negative thoughts of themselves, and depression.
The truth our young girls (and everyone else, for that matter) desperately need to hear is that they are uniquely created by a loving God. He sees her as lovely and loveable. That’s transformational! Ultimately, purpose is experienced in proper relationship with God, which not only impacts our eternal destiny but our present life. Without that knowledge and relationship, everything in this fallen, broken world is empty.
This reality was abundantly made clear through the words of a student who was recently transformed at the Asbury University revival. Giving her testimony, she shared how depression and anxiety had overcome her life to the point of despair. But in discovering the indescribable love of God and by entering a relationship with Him, she had been set free from depression and is now living with joy and purpose never previously experienced.
As a society, we cannot continue to attack and destroy the authentic realities of womanhood without understanding that those attacks have horrible consequences. Healthy emotional lives are the result of living in accordance with truth, both physiologically and spiritually. May God help us to walk in the truth, and may He help us rescue a generation of young girls (and boys) who are being fed a constant diet of emotionally destructive lies.
Jody Hice is Senior Advisor to the President at Family Research Council. He formerly served as a U.S. congressman representing Georgia’s 10th congressional district.