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The Wonder of Girls
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Table of Contents

Contents

Introduction

Toward a New Logic of Girls' Lives

PART I

Why Girls Are the Way They Are

1: BEGINNING OUR SEARCH: A NEW LOGIC OF GIRLS' LIVES

A Moment of Awakening

Looking Beyond Feminism: Old Myths and New Theories

2: HOW HER MIND WORKS: SECRETS OF THE FEMALE BRAIN

Girls and Boys Are Different

A Quick Look at Your Daughter's Brain

The Stages of a Girl's Brain Development

Stage 1: The Child

Stage 2: The Girl

Stage 3: The Adolescent Girl

Stage 4: The Young Woman

The Goal of the Journey

The Intimacy Imperative

The Future of Femininity

3: THE HIDDEN WORLD: THE BIOCHEMISTRY OF GIRLS' LIVES

The Tree of Life: From Mind to Hormones

The Hidden World: A Girl's Hormonal Biology

The Biology of Femininity

The Three-Family System

The New Challenge

PART II

What Girls Need

4: THE ARTFUL MOTHER: WHAT GIRLS NEED FROM MOM

A Mother's Love

A Season for Mothering

From Mommy to Mom: Mothering a Daughter

Through Childhood and Adolescence

The Artful Mother in Stage 1: Birth to Five Years Old

The Artful Mother in Stage 2: Six to Ten Years Old

The Artful Mother in Stage 3: Eleven to Fifteen Years Old

The Artful Mother in Stage 4: Sixteen to Twenty Years Old

How to Be an Artful Stepmother

If Your Daughter Were a Parenting Expert...

Looking Back on What Our Mothers Taught Us

5: THE GIFTS OF THE FATHER: WHAT GIRLS NEED FROM DAD

A Father's Love

Father Attachment

Gifts of the Father

Helping a Daughter Manage Peer Relationships

Fathers, Daughters, and Divorce

The Stages of "Dad"

6: INNOCENCE AND EXPERIENCE: PROTECTING THE EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF OUR GIRLS

Girls and Self-Esteem: A Different View

Protecting Innocence, Guiding Experience

The Malleable Self

Protecting the Bodies of Our Daughters

Harsh Experience: Emotional Crises in Girls' Lives

Emotional Development Touchstones

7: THE HEROINE'S JOURNEY: BUILDING CHARACTER IN OUR DAUGHTERS

"True" Stories

The Heroine's Journey

Cinderella

Female Mentors, the Language of the Birds, and the Dance

The Prince Searches for Cinderella

The End of the Story

Looking Forward: The Issue of Women's Roles

8: WOMANISM: GIVING GIRLS A SACRED ROLE IN LIFE

What Is Womanism?

A Sacred Female Role in the New Millennium

EPILOGUE

APPENDIX: Books and Movies That Help Girls Grow

Twenty-Five Movies

Twenty-Five Books

Additional Resources

NOTES AND REFERENCES

INDEX

About the Author

Michael Gurian is a therapist and educator whose work has been featured in The New York Times, USA Today, Time and many more. He is the founder of the Michael Gurian Educational Institute and lives in Spokane, Washington.

Reviews

Stressing the importance of female biology, the author of the best-selling The Wonder of Boys takes on girls. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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.

Los Angeles Times Wonderfully useful advice....Gurian is at his best when it comes to the nuts and bolts of rearing a daughter.
USA Today Explosive....Gurian raises interesting questions.
Library Journal The Wonder of Girls is...an excellent choice.

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