A clinical psychologist observes the psychological pitfalls faced by teenage girls growing up in a dangerous world in which violence, sexual harassment, eating disorders, promiscuity, and drug use have become the norm.
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At adolescence, says Mary Pipher, "girls become 'female impersonators' who fit their whole selves into small, crowded spaces." Many lose spark, interest, and even IQ points as a "girl-poisoning" society forces a choice between being shunned for staying true to oneself and struggling to stay within a narrow definition of female. Pipher's alarming tales of a generation swamped by pain may be partly informed by her role as a therapist who sees troubled children and teens, but her sketch of a tougher, more menacing world for girls often hits the mark. She offers some prescriptions for changing society and helping girls resist.From the Inside Flap:
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When Reviving Ophelia was first published nearly a decade ago, the response was extraordinary?and Dr. Mary Pipher became one of the most sought-after speakers in the country. She posed the provocative question: Why are American adolescent girls falling prey to depression, eating disorders, and suicide attempts at an alarming rate? The answer hit a nerve. We live in a look-obsessed, sexist ?girl-poisoning? culture. And despite the advances of feminism, girls continue to struggle to find their true selves.
Here are girls? unmuted voices from the front lines of adolescence, personal and painfully honest. By laying bare their harsh day-to-day reality, Reviving Ophelia issues a call to arms and offers parents compassion, strength, and strategies with which to revive these Ophelias? lost sense of self.
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