Young Women, Self Esteem, and the Confidence Gap
Anchor Books, Paperback, 9780385425766, 368pp.
Publication Date: September 1995
A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR
The classic account of the hurdles facing adolescent girls in America--now reissued with a new Foreword, to coincide with the award-winning author's new book on women and identity.
Inspired by a study by the American Association of University Women that showed girls' self-esteem plummeting as they reach adolescence, Peggy Orenstein spent months observing, interviewing, and getting know dozens of girls both inside and outside the classroom at two very different schools in northern California. The result was a groundbreaking book in which she brought the disturbing statistics to life with skill and flair of an experienced journalist.
Orenstein plumbs the minds of both boys and girls who have learned to equate masculinity with opportunity and assertiveness, and femininity with reserve and restraint. She demonstrates the cost of this insidious lesson, by taking us into the lives of real young women who are struggling with eating disorders, sexual harassment, and declining academic achievement, especially in math and science. Peggy Orenstein's SchoolGirls is a classic that belongs on the shelf with the work of Carol Gilligan, Joan Jacobs Brumberg, and Mary Pipher. It continues to be read by all who care about how our schools and our society teach girls to shortchange themselves.
"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.