A new report says adolescent girls are doing better in school and having fewer babies, but they're also smoking more and playing sports less often than they used to.
And they're often depressed.The report issued Tuesday by the National Council for Research on Women examined some 200 studies done on adolescent girls over the past decade. It did not include any original research.
- Girls now do nearly as well as boys in math in elementary school, while continuing to do well in reading and language, though boys tend to outperform girls in math and science by high school.
- The teen birth rate has dropped steadily since 1992, thanks in part to an increase in use of birth control.
- The percentage of eighth-grade girls who smoke increased from 13 percent in 1991 to 21 percent in 1996.
- Girls are twice as likely as boys to be depressed during adolescence and more likely to consider and attempt suicide. Boys, however, are more likely to die from suicide.
- The proportion of high school sophomore girls playing on sports teams dropped from 46 percent in 1980 to 41 percent in 1990.