The new challenges facing girls in the 21st century
Here are some of the topics covered in this presentation:
- Anxiety and depression is far more common among American girls today than just 20 years ago. That’s true for Black, White, Asian, and Latina girls. How come? What do parents need to know?
- Social media: The more time a girl spends on social media such as Instagram, Facebook and YouTube, the more likely she is to become depressed: but the evidence suggests that effect is much stronger for girls than for boys. We explore why that’s so, and what parents need to know, and to do (more information and references in chapter 2 of my book Girls on the Edge)
- “Anorexia of the soul”: the failure to develop a sense of self independent of the approval of others. (more information and references in chapter 3 of Girls on the Edge).
- Alcohol and drugs: Over the past 40 years, rates of alcohol and drug abuse among boys has stayed level or even dropped slightly, while rates of alcohol and drug abuse among girls have soared. How come? What do parents need to know? (more information and references in chapter 3 ofGirls on the Edge).
- The sexualization of girlhood: American popular culture now pushes 10-year-old girls to dress and to act like 14-year-old girls. Why is that harmful? What do parents need to know? (more information and references in chapter 1 of Girls on the Edge)
The focus of the presentation is on concrete strategies which parents can deploy in order to help their daughters to become confident and resourceful women.