In Boys Adrift (2007), Sax, a family physician and psychologist with more than 20 years of experience, explored the disturbing trend of young men who are disengaged from their lives. In this companion volume, he turns to the other half of the population and identifies four factors that are threatening the mental and physical health of young women today: a culture that sexualizes young girls; the “cyberbubble” of social networking and electronic communication; obsessive behaviors, including eating disorders; and environmental toxins that disrupt the endocrine system and lead to early-onset puberty. In clear, accessible language, Sax deftly blends anecdotes, clinical research, and even lines of poetry in persuasive, often fascinating chapters that speak straight to parents; in the book’s second half, he offers practical ideas for nurturing girls’ minds, bodies, and spirits, from advocating for girls’ athletics programs to making room for prayer in secular households. Warning that “a 1980s solution” won’t help solve twenty-first-century problems, Sax offers a holistic, sobering call to help the current generation of young women develop the support and sense of self that will allow them to grow into resilient adults. And, finally, he counsels parents to be persistent: “Don’t back away even when she tells you to get lost.” Pair this eye-opening title with similar resources listed in the adjacent Read-alikes column, “Girl Talk, Part 2.” --Gillian Engberg
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"The best book about the current state of girls and young women in America . . . offers astonishing and troubling new insight . . ." The Atlantic
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