The Wonder of Girls respects the equal status of girls and women while acknowledging their nature as complex and distinct from men.
As a mother of a 10,9 and 5 year old girls, this is a great book, the more I read the more I get to understand my kids. I'm not done reading it, but let me tell you something; I carry it with me everywhere I go. – anonymous
Therapist Gurian probes the unique aspects of girls' emotional, social and physical development in a follow-up to his bestselling The Wonder of Boys. First, though, he takes a few stabs at feminism, arguing that several of its theories (which, it must be noted, he incorrectly oversimplifies) need to be revised or even discarded by parents seeking to raise healthy girls. But Gurian's trademark is examining how biology impacts behavior. Biological matters hormones, brain differences (girls' brains are "more broadly active" than boys' and have 15% more blood flow) ultimately define girls' and boys' journeys through childhood and adolescence, Gurian argues. Even a girl's drop in self-esteem during adolescence is a "natural," biological phenomenon rather than a result of negative cultural influences. Feminists, he argues, have ignored the biological differences in order to successfully compete with men in the workplace; in so doing, they have denied or downplayed a girl's desire for intimacy and the experience of motherhood. Gurian urges parents to use a new model in raising girls (he calls it "Womanism") in which motherhood is a "season" when careers must be adjusted or put on hold. The author boldly suggests that parents prepare their daughters for the sacrifices of motherhood, and ensure that girls establish a three-family system (the nuclear family, the extended family and institutions such as church or school) that will meet their need for intimate relationships. Expect Gurian's arguments to stir controversy and inspire thought. (Jan.) Forecast: Gurian's success with The Wonder of Boys and other parenting titles should make this an easy sell, though some readers may object to what feels like a rejection of feminist tenets. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information. – Publisher’s Weekly