Young Women, Self Esteem, and the Confidence Gap
Anchor Books, Paperback, 9780385425766, 368pp.
Publication Date: September 1, 1995
When Peggy Orenstein's now-classic examination of young girls and self-esteem was first published, it set off a groundswell that continues to this day. Inspired by an American Association of University Women survey that showed a steep decline in confidence as girls reach adolescence, Orenstein set out to explore the obstacles girls face--in school, in the hoime, and in our culture.
For this intimate, girls' eye view of the world, Orenstein spent months observing and interviewing eighth-graders from two ethnically disparate communities, seeking to discover what was causing girls to fall into traditional patterns of self-censorship and self-doubt. By taking us into the lives of real young women who are struggling with eating disorders, sexual harrassment, and declining academic achievement, Orenstein brings the disturbing statistics to life with the skill and flair of an experienced journalist. Uncovering the adolescent roots of issues that remain important to American women throughout their lives, this groundbreaking book challenges us to change the way we raise and educate girls.
"This important book should be read by parents raising children of all ages and of both sexes." -- New York Times Book Review.
"This book is to young girls what Black Beauty is to horses, what Upton Sinclair's The Jungle was to the processing of meat. To read School Girls is to remember -- how reluctantly! -- what it means to be a girl in junior high." -- Carolyn See, Washington Post Book World.
"Orenstein's study should be required reading for all American teachers. And students. And everyone else. [grade] A." -- Entertainment Weekly.
"School Girls is a fascinating book. Hopefully it will be read by the right people -- parents and educators who could change the experience of young girls in the future." -- Los Angeles Times Book Review.
"School Girls cautions those of us who educate and mold young people to wake up and see the social and intellectual consequences of simply letting 'girls be girls' and boys be boys.'" -- New York Newsday.