In the piece, Leonard Sax, MD, PhD points to research that shows some facts you may have already assumed, saying that girls become more unhappy with their bodies in adolescence while boys become way happier with their bodies at that time. Compounding that issue is the fact that girls are more likely to use social media to post photos of how cute they look, whereas boys are more likely to post photos of things they've done (awards they've received, etc.) Because of that, the stakes for potential threats to their self-esteem are lower. If the boy posts a photo of him winning a wrestling trophy and no one likes it, he probably won't care because he already won the trophy, but if the girl doesn't get any likes because of the way she looks, then yeah, that's going to probably affect her more because it's far more personal.
The research also found that boys way overestimate how interesting their lives are (womp, womp), and that boys are more likely to spend time playing video games (which they can probably win at some point) than picking out cool filters for their selfies (which is a game that's tougher to "win" in any real way).
While the research definitely shows some cliche depictions of the genders, what's clear is that the pressures of what we expect of girls versus what we expect of boys are hardly equal, which affects their similarly unequal anxiety levels. This is yet another reason why we need to keep fighting the social criteria for what makes women "good enough," so that it's easier for everyone and girls can relax just as much as boys do.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.