A girl is a young female human, usually a child or an adolescent. When a girl becomes an adult, she is accurately described as a woman. However, the term girl is also used for other meanings, including young woman, and is sometimes used as a synonym for daughter, or girlfriend. In certain contexts, the usage of girl for a woman may be derogatory. Girl may also be a term of endearment used by an adult, usually a woman, to designate adult female friends. Girl also appears in compound words like showgirl, cowgirl, and schoolgirl.
The treatment and status of girls in any society is usually closely related to the status of women in that culture. In cultures where women have a low societal position, girls may be unwanted by their parents, and the state may invest less in services for girls. Girls' upbringing ranges from being relatively the same as that of boys to complete sex segregation and completely different gender roles.
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