Schoolgirls: Young Women, Self Esteem, and the Confidence Gap
In 1990, the AAUW conducted a poll that highlighted how young girls lose their self-esteem as they reach adolescence. They emerge from adolescence with reduced expectations of life, and much less confidence in themselves and their abilities than boys have. Through anecdotes, Orenstein brings to life the findings of the AAUW study.
From the front Cover 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.