Monday, February 25, 2008
The wonder of girls
Therapist Micheal Gurian probes the unique aspects of girls' emotional, social and physical development. First, though, he takes a few stabs at feminism, arguing that several of its theories (which, it must be noted, he incorrectly over simplifies) 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 in his book, The wonder of girls.
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.
Bar advice. This may just tick off some women out there but there's a lot of stuff that's beneficial for girls this day and age that is lacking in modern day. Read to see.