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PDF file: Stauts of young women in Scotland (2016)
How was the research carried out?
A total of 115 young women in Scotland between the ages of 16 and 30 took part in a series of in-depth interviews and focus groups in autumn 2016.
Potential participants were reached through a social media campaign and through contacting relevant organisations and agencies who work with marginalised groups of young women.
Interviews and focus groups were conducted which typically lasted an hour, with all dialogue recorded and transcribed for analysis.
What are the strengths of the research methodology?
Qualitative methods, such as face-to-face interviews, allow for issues to be explored in-depth and also for researchers to explore any unexpected areas which may emerge on the day. Interviews also allow for researchers to develop rapport with respondents.
What is the context for this research?
This research is part of a series of annual reports exploring the experiences of young women in Scotland. It includes the experiences of young mothers, women from ethnic minorities, rural areas, or with physical or learning difficulties.
Findings underline the on-going gender stereotyping girls and young women encounter and the gender-based violence and controlling behaviours they can experience.
The poor quality of sex education is highlighted with the need for education on consent and recognising abusive relationships identified. Pressure to share explicit images is noted.
- To what extent do girls have the opportunity in school to have ‘a safe space’ to discuss their experiences of being a woman and how inequality impacts on them?
- To what extent does PSHE cover topics such as recognising abusive relationships, sexting and consent with young people?
About the author(s)
The research was conducted by Edinburgh-based research agency The Lines Between on behalf of the Young Women’s Movement.
It was not commissioned by Education Scotland and the findings, recommendations and conclusions do not necessarily reflect the views of Education Scotland.
Parsons and Simpson (2016), Status of Young Women in Scotland, The Young Women’s Movement.