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The Triple Bind: Saving Our Teenage Girls from Today's Pressures
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The Triple Bind: Saving Our Teenage Girls from Today's Pressures

3.57  ·  Rating Details ·  150 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
The Triple Bind that girls face today:
• Act sweet and nice
• Be a star athlete and get straight A's
• Seem sexy and hot even if you're not

In many ways, today is the best time in history to be a girl: Opportunities for a girl's success are as unlimited as her dreams. Yet societal expectations, cultural trends, and conflicting messages are creating what psychologist and resear
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published February 10th 2009 by Ballantine Books (first published February 6th 2009)
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Jul 03, 2009 Ruth rated it liked it
There is a lot of truth in this book, but the author was repetitive and I felt like he could have gotten his point across in a lot less pages.
Aug 11, 2009 M rated it really liked it
An interesting look at the potential causes for rising depression, anxiety, suicide, eating disorders, etc. rates among teen girls. The Triple Bind is basically this: girls are expected to be pretty, sexy, etc. ("girl" qualities), successful and competitive ("boy" qualities), and make it all look effortless (be perfect at both). This sets an impossibly high bar that many a hormonal, young, and emotionally inexperienced girl can't handle. The author also broached the topic of depression and its r ...more
Mar 26, 2009 Julie added it
Detailed description of the challenges and pressures ("binds") facing teen girls. Lots of stories and statitstics. Weaker on "what to do." I skimmed the whole book; it does get a bit repetitive.
Jul 08, 2014 Kaethe rated it did not like it
I'd have to call this a waste of paper. Not because I disagree with the author. I absolutely agree that adolescent American girls are in a dreadful place. I even agree with the pressures he identifies: to excel at traditional girl stuff (empathy, concern for others, being supportive of others); to excel at traditional boy stuff (sports, grades, competition); all the while, being expected to excel at hotness as well.

Unfortunately, Hinshaw is a clueless dude, barging in and telling the girls he kn
Nov 11, 2009 Ami rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
"The Triple Bind" is about the three contradictory tenants that the author feels all girls in today's society are subjected to: be sweet and nice like a girl, be ambitious and competitive as a boy, and be sexy but not sexual. The trick, the author says, is that girls are pressured to be all this, all the time, and perform effortlessly. I do feel the author has a point. In this "modern" age, girls and woman are told they can and should do it all. And today there is more pressure than in earlier d ...more
Feb 25, 2009 Kathleen rated it liked it
* Be pretty, sweet, and nice

* Be athletic, be competitive, and get straight A's

* Be impossibly perfect

That is the premise of The Triple Bind --that the expectations for young girls growing up in today's society have gone overboard--expectations set impossibly high and difficult to achieve. A girl is supposed to be good at "girl stuff", like friendships and emotional support of her family, yet excel at "boy stuff", like math and science and athletics. And all the while she is expected to be pret
Aug 23, 2009 Jodi rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Mothers of daughters
Recommended to Jodi by: Judith
Shelves: parenting, ed, non-fiction
My daughter is not even a tween (scary our society needs this word today) but I can already see some of society's pressures at work on her. She is very aware of fashion, weight, and social acceptance. I try so hard to convince her that people come in all sizes, shapes, colors, abilities, etc. but I can still see those wheels turning in her head as she gets messages from our culture. Also, I see how she is drawn to inappropriate fashion (which I can win on now because I am buying the clothes) and ...more
Marie says...

Ever wonder why more adolescents suffer from troubling emotional problems today than in decades past? Dr. Stephen Hinshaw (chair of the Psychology Department at my alma mater!) points to what he calls “The Triple Bind.” Today’s young girls are feeling more and more pressure to “Be pretty, sweet, and nice” and at the same time “be athletic, competitive, and get straight A’s” and the clicher… “be impossibly perfect”. This is an interesting read for anyone who has a teen girl in his o
Dec 08, 2010 Katie rated it really liked it
I would very much recommend this book to the parents of daughters, despite the fact that it suggests very few solutions. The author brilliantly lays out the "triple bind" that girls are trapped in today, articulating the many contradicting pressures that they are subject to. It can be hard for the fish, so to speak, to describe the water we are swimming in, yet Hinshaw sees it all very clearly and names each factor precisely. The book is worth reading for that reason alone, and for the discussio ...more
Feb 01, 2014 sharon rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
An important book on pressures facing adolescent girls, though at times repetitive or one-note. Hinshaw's analysis of media influences is insightful and the writing is engaging. I appreciated that Hinshaw's respect for girls shone through in every line. He's never patronizing, precious, or pearl-clutching, while still making clear that these are important issues. It would have been nice if the conclusion of the book could have offered some more potential solutions.
Jun 16, 2010 Erin rated it really liked it
The triple bind of being good at girl things and boy things and making it all seem effortless is a great way of phrasing the discussion of working moms verse stay at home moms. Women now feel they have to work all day and be career driven yet still be a perfect mom AND make it seem easy. It was an interesting way to look at a social issue that has polariszed women rather than unite them (to work or not to work, to be a cliche mom or to be a what works for you mom).
Oct 16, 2009 Carrie rated it really liked it
Shelves: counseling
I was skeptical when I picked up this book because I didn't think the author could prove his point. However, I found the book chocked with research as well as popular, real life examples. Overall, this was a very good book that was easy to follow along with. The only criticisms I have are that I thought he could have expounded more on the solution as well as his tendency to be repetitive.
May 21, 2011 Kate rated it it was ok
Lol-worthy observations; lengthy and repetitive.

This is absolutely a first. I don't think I've ever complained about a book seeming to drag on in 178 pages. I'm bored, annoyed, and I haven't learned anything. This is extremely disappointing considering the sources/appearance of research that went into it.

Let me help you: Pass.
An excellent study on perfectionism, the dichotomy between being good and being smart, and how to help girls not only balance excruciating schedules of work, school, homework, achievement, volunteering, friends, sports and job in the effort to get into the best colleges-- but also see what is more and less important in the grand scheme of things.
Jun 27, 2009 Laura rated it liked it
A thought-provoking look at the challenges faced by tween and teen girls. A bit repetitive, but definitely set the wheels turning, thinking about how I raise my 9-year-old daughter. How will I equip her with the tools to be successful in today's culture?
Feb 06, 2012 Allison rated it liked it
The premise is great, but nearly the whole book outlines the problem (which the introduction does concisely and beautifully), with only minimal solutions offered. Worth reading, but if you're busy, I'd just read the intro and the last chapter.
May 15, 2010 Catherine rated it really liked it
This was a really good book to read if you work with teenage girls or have a daughter. It gave me so much to think about with raising my daughter and how to help her as she gets older.
Sep 02, 2010 Rebekah rated it liked it
here's the triple bind:

be feminine (aka compassionate)
be masculine (aka successful)
be sexy

i could see his point. this could have been an article, not a book
Aug 07, 2009 Kori rated it liked it
I didn't get to finish this one before it was due back at the library. Tried to renew, but apparently it is popular and there were other holds on it. Renew request was denied.
Oct 23, 2011 Jen rated it really liked it
Helpful in understanding the immense pressure our daughters are under, but doesn't give much in the way of solutions (though I have some of my own ideas).
Emily Kimball
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