Friday, November 12, 2010

Girl Scout Research is a Hit!

Last week, The Girl Scout Research Institute celebrated its 10th Anniversary while releasing a new study titled "Who's That Girl? Image and Social Media." The study has gained significant media traction with articles in The Chicago Tribune, Girl Up, The Journal Gazette, Jezebel, Strollerderby, AnnArbor.com, Feministing, MTV.com, Crushable, Parent Dish and many more.

Dawn Turner Trice at the Chicago Tribune spoke to Girl Scout Ashley Gonzalez, 16. Gonzalez reveals that she won't reveal her politics or social values on her Facebook page. She doesn't want to be judged by "friends" who don't know her very well. But she said she would never downplay her intellect, kindness or efforts to be a positive influence. And she's troubled that a new national survey by the Girl Scouts Research Institute found that girls 14 to 17 years old often portray themselves in social media as "fun," "funny" or "social," rather than smart and ambitious.

Char Luttrell, communications specialist for Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan and columnist for AnnArbor.com reports the findings and relates that the emotional safety of girls is at-risk on social networks. Of the survey respondents, 68 percent said they had had negative experience on a social networking site, such as being the object of gossip or bullying. Forty percent said they lost respect for a friend because of something she or he had posted online. In Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan, girls in fourth and fifth grade, and older, can take an Internet Safety Pledge as part of the New Girl Scout Leadership Experience curriculum. The girls learn how to stay safe online and how to stop cyberbulying.

Do you find this research enlightening?