This is the age from when girls start to lose self-confidence, and it may surprise you

girls lose self confidence from this age
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Throughout their teenage years, many girls start to lose self-confidence.

Sadly, they might lack body confidence or think other girls are smarter prettier or cooler. They may feel unsafe around others or think that their tastes or opinions aren't worth as many other people's.

But while you might expect that girls would start to lose self-confidence in their mid-teens, a new study has found that it could start earlier than that. An American study has revealed that girls start to lose their self-confidence from as young as 12 years old.

The research, carried out for a new book The Confidence Code for Girls, found that from the age of 12 girls’ confidence and self-esteem levels start to drop. To come to their findings, study leaders looked at 1,300 girls aged between eight and 18. They asked each girl to rate their confidence on a scale of 1-10. They found that girls under the age of 12 displayed more self-confidence, stating that they made friends easily and didn’t care about what others thought of them.

girls lose self-confidence from this age

Credit: Getty

However, from the ages of eight to 14 the girls’ responses fell, on average, from approximately 8.5 out of 10 to 6 out of 10. This shocking 30 percent drop illustrated how the girls’ self-esteem took a major drop as soon as they started going through puberty. They also found that girls were rewarded more by their teachers and parents when they exhibited people-pleasing behaviour.

Study authors suggested that this indicates that the girls are growing up believing that it is more appropriate for them to stay quiet, follow other people’s instructions, and not speak about their own opinions. They suggested that this leads girls to set unattainable standards for themselves as they progress through their teenage years and prompts a drop in their self-confidence.

As well as not being encouraged to speak their opinion, another reason for young girls’ drop in self-confidence when they go through puberty could be the rise of social media and the presence of unattainable standards following them around in their pockets, through the likes of Instagram and Snapchat.

It will always be difficult to prevent girls from feeling insecure, but by encouraging 'tween' girls to speak their opinions and believe in themselves, we could lead to more confident and independent girls in the future. Girls run the world!

Aleesha Badkar
Lifestyle Writer

Aleesha Badkar is a lifestyle writer who specialises in health, beauty - and the royals. After completing her MA in Magazine Journalism at the City, the University of London in 2017, she interned at Women’s Health, Stylist, and Harper’s Bazaar, creating features and news pieces on health, beauty, and fitness, wellbeing, and food. She loves to practice what she preaches in her everyday life with copious amounts of herbal tea, Pilates, and hyaluronic acid.