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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this website.
The site takes a "girl power" approach that encourages girls to express themselves creatively and learn more about themselves. The site's overall goal is to attract more girls to science and technology -- fields in which women are traditionally underrepresented.
Violence & Scariness
There's content on self-injury, suicide, and abusive relationships, including resources for getting help.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some columns and stories discuss issues like resisting pressure to have sex and the importance of using condoms.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
A few curses in user-generated content, e.g., "Spiders scare the living s--t out of me."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
The site addresses the dangers of drinking, smoking, and drug abuse.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that SmartGirl mixes educational, science-oriented content with first-person contributions from teens, who sometimes write about heavy subjects like self-injury and sex. The site doesn't review content before it's posted, but users generally keep it clean and positive. Parents of tweens will want to preview the large library of links, which includes resources about sexual health and substance abuse.
Is It Any Good?
Run by the Women in Science & Engineering Program at the University of Michigan, SMARTGIRL is a mix of educational info that encourages girls to get involved in the sciences and more typical teen fare, such as horoscopes and relationship advice. There's a lot of content on the site, but it's not organized -- or designed -- in a way that's very appealing. Graphics are minimal and there aren't any multimedia features, except for some games hosted on outside sites. SmartGirl clearly means well, but it may be too basic for tweens and teens who are used to more sophisticated experiences online.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.