In many ways, today is the best time in history to be a girl: Opportunities for a girl’s success are as unlimited as her dreams. Yet an alarm is sounding, revealing a disturbing portrait of the stresses affecting girls of all ages. Societal expectations, cultural trends, and conflicting messages are creating what psychologist and researcher Stephen Hinshaw calls “the Triple Bind.” Girls are now expected to excel at “girl skills,” achieve “boy goals,” and be models of female perfection, 100 percent of the time. The Triple Bind is putting more and more girls at risk for aggression, eating disorders, depression, and even suicide.
Dr. Hinshaw’s fascinating and groundbreaking book shows concerned parents how to listen, learn, and help girls unlock the shackles of the Triple Bind. The Triple Binddiscusses many key topics, including
- Today’s trap: how internal conflict can turn self-expression into self-destruction
- Nature versus nurture: genes, hormones, and the role of biology in confronting the Triple Bind
- Life in the pressure cooker: overscheduled, overtaxed lives, and how the pressure to excel at everything sets girls up for crisis
- When virtue is its own punishment: how traditionally feminine qualities like empathy, self-awareness, and verbal ability can put girls at risk for anxiety, depression, and other disorders
- Getting all Pussycat Dolled up: the oversexualization of little girls, preteens, and teenagers
- The wired child: how cyberculture exacerbates the Triple Bind
- Girls who hit: the reasons girls are channeling pressure into violence
- The plight of normal girls: hidden aspects of the Triple Bind crisis that don’t show up in statistics
Combining moving personal stories about girls and their families with extensive research into genetic risk, vulnerability, and cultural influence, Dr. Hinshaw provides strategies and tools for parents who want to empower their daughters to deal in healthy ways with today’s pressures.