In The Wonder of Girls, Michael Gurian aims to bring us new insights into the lives of our daughters in much the same way he attempted to open up the lives of adolescent males in The Wonder of Boys. While many of the chapters read like lessons in biology, plenty of parents will find useful tidbits and reflections from this father of two.
Gurian emphatically agrees with Deborah Sichel's (Women's Moods) idea of "A woman's biology is the cornerstone of her mental health." He elaborates on this theory throughout his discussion on the physical changes in childhood and adolescence. This concept certainly holds some validity, but there's a fine line from here to "biology is destiny." Some readers may find Gurian crosses that line with his claims of "brain pruning" and insistence about hormones: "they don't just change a girl into a woman, they are, to a great extent, the woman herself."
Others find his recommendations on hormonal treatments to be a literal lifesaver, and the book is peppered with positive anecdotes from his own life and families encountered in his training sessions. Important issues like self-esteem, eating disorders, and sexual experimentation are all addressed, along with the role of the father and "the absolute sanctity of motherhood." Gurian offers a somewhat narrow path as a guide through your daughter's adolescence, but if nothing else, this book will provide a solid background in the physical aspects of her growth. --Jill Lightner --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. See all Editorial Reviews
This book is amazing. I chose to read it for class but I think it is a useful tool a part from the academic arena. The book gives biological and social information about girls. Read morePublished 1 month ago by music lover
Love this book...especially the developmental biology parts! Heard him speak and he was great. When I was reading it about teenage girls and problems because of hormones, my... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Kat Sal
I really liked this book. It really reminded me of when I was a girl - how I felt, how I communicated, what I would've liked from my family and friends. Read morePublished 6 months ago by M. Garza
Excellent book full of researched facts by the author. Every parent should take the time to read this book. Thumbs up.Published 15 months ago by Djk
I admire Michael Gurian who with the knowledge and wisdom on this practical book make us understand the "hidden nature of our daughters" in a language that we the average... Read morePublished on April 15, 2013 by ALEJANDRO MORELOS
I really am impressed and moved after reading this book. I not only read it, I study it, use it as a reference guide on bringing up my girls. Read morePublished on April 9, 2013 by Edwin Otero
The concept of the biological differences affecting the nature of my daughters is one I did not really think about. Read morePublished on January 11, 2013 by T. Boyd
Michael Gurian, previously the author of three generally outstanding books about boys as well as co-author of the invaluable "Boys and Girls Learn Differently! Read morePublished on November 29, 2012 by J. Steven Svoboda