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Girls on the Edge: The Four Factors Driving the New Crisis for Girls-Sexual Identity, the Cyberbubble, Obsessions, Envi

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  685 ratings  ·  158 reviews
The author of Boys Adrift argues that young women today are at risk, and shows what we can do to help girls achieve their potential
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Published April 27th 2010 by Basic Books (AZ) (first published April 1st 2010)
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A really, really good read. I devoured this book. I didn't realize it at the time, but I have read another of his books - 'Why Gender Matters'. I came away with an understanding of some of the problems that face girls today. What I also understood is how inspired the 'For Strength of Youth', 'Personal Progress', and the whole Young Women's program really is. It really sets girls apart and can strengthen them in this day and age. I also felt vindicated because the doctor/author said we should hav ...more
Girls today have far greater opportunities than their grandmothers had and therefore they have every chance for a very fulfilling life, one in which they can attain their potential. Yet, more girls are “on the edge”, why? Leonard Sax explores the possible reasons why our young daughters are not as happy and adjusted as we want them to be. Could it be the early sexualisation of girls? Could it be technology which keeps them connected 24*7 to their friends preventing them from being connected to t ...more
Like "Boys Adrift," this book has a lot of information that I was happy to learn, and I'm glad the author wrote a book about girls. Never having been a your girl in my years growing up, some of the ideas were very new to me. One thing that struck me -- maybe it was in "Boys Adrift," too, and I simply didn't notice -- is that he gives you a horror story, something really bad that happened, and only afterwords says "now that's a rare case, but..." It seems to me that's a propaganda trick: "If you ...more
Some of this book covers very familiar territory. BPA in plastics of all kinds are influencing our bodies is scary and unknowable ways, and sadly kids are getting more of it even than adults. In my house, I recently tossed all the crappy mismatched plastic containers used by my wife and asked her to start using only glass and ceramic for microwave warming.
This book notes that now puberty for girls at age 8 is not considered unusual, and in fact may be traceable to the drop in breast feeding amo
Interesting book, but I didn't learn anything new. Most of it is common sense. Girls are different than boys. Right-o. Heard this many a time. But in a way he's almost reinforcing the stereotypes, even though he's meaning not too. Keep the computers out of their rooms - check. Monitor their cell phone use - check. His mean girls assessment was a little off the mark, unrealistic mainly, and truly if you've never been female, that's a hard one to really understand. But I could tell he meant well o ...more
*A new kind of help for a new kind of crisis*

While the technology of today offers countless advances in how we live our daily lives, it also results in never-before-encountered challenges and stressors that threaten the livelihood and futures of young women. In his book _Girls On the Edge_, Leonard Sax identifies the four key factors that are creating what he terms the "new crisis for girls." These factors include:

1. Sexual identity--young girls are acting sexual before they even are sexual, and
50% of girls in the US will hit puberty before their 10th birthday!!! REALLY?!!! I think this book is my book club pick of the year--if I had a book club. :) I'd love to sit in a coffee shop and discuss his ideas: all-girls schools, cutting, early onset of puberty, the cyberbubble and the pseudo-society of teenagers, the need for female community that spans generations, anorexia of the soul, sports that focus on what you do rather than how you look, Finnish schools that disallow formal education ...more
Since reading “Queen Bees and Wannabes,” which eventually inspired the movie “Mean Girls,” I have been particularly fascinated with the culture of teen girls, and how it doesn’t really end once the high schoolers go off to college. In this particular book, physician and psychologist Leonard Sax, who previously penned a similar book about boys, examines what he believes are four factors impacting the current society in which girls are growing up. These are sexual identity, the cyberbubble, obsess ...more
Oh, I love love love Leonard Sax!!! It's now my goal to meet him, although if I do I'll probably end up gushing and making a total fool of myself. He's just so brilliant!!!

Okay . . . let me get ahold of myself. This book frightened me, with all the information about environmental toxins, but it was a very interested sort of frightened. And the thing I like about Sax is that he gives solutions to the problems after frightening you with them.
Michael Beaton
I don't have daughters, but if I did I would want this book as essential information.
Particularly in the post feminist era where the paradigm and predefined rules for girls/women have been so radically altered in such a short time.
Rather than the false equivalence of thinking boys and girls are the same, this book explores what is more true – that girls are profoundly different than boys and need to be treated as such.
This applies in the classroom as well as on the sports field. And the author d
Author Leonard Sax delves into the very modern realities of raising daughters in the present landscape, one that is tremendously different from our own youth and is continuously evolving. Of course it is quite timely for me as I navigate the terrain of 4- and 7-year old daughters, however, it is is an extremely informative book for just about anyone to read, illuminating much about themselves and their relationships. The book covers the expected, like over-sexualization of young girls and cyber ...more
Johanna Kirk
In Girls On The Edge, author Leonard Sax identifies and describes the challenges girls are facing today as they navigate their way to adulthood. It is nothing short of daunting to read the onslaught of obstacles girls must clear on the road to an authentic self. I found it simultaneously fascinating and frightening. The chapters on body, mind and sport where the most captivating to me, filled with interesting nuggets of information. Luckily the book has many good suggestions how to possibly avoi ...more
A must read for parents raising girls now days. Unfortunately for me, I'm not a parent and I picked up this book as a professional puzzled by the growing number of girls getting into self injurious acts. As a professional, I did not learn much as this book is actually directed to a different audience (the parents) The last chapters, specially, he's basically saying, "parents do this, parents do that." However, I did find entreating his propositions and points of view about separate education and ...more
Excellent read. As a parent of a daughter and someone who works with teenagers on a daily basis, I thought it was interesting, at times scary, but interesting nonetheless. I thought the environmental toxins section was eye-opening and makes me want to an overhaul of the contents in my kitchen cupboards.
I feel I may want to revisit this book when my daughter enters her tween years...and maybe give it as a gift to parents of girls, as it gives the reader a lot to think about!
AMAZING! I found myself wanting to high five him at the end of each chapter! He explains the issues of our culture in a way that I found very informative without freaking out the reader. As the mother of 6 daughters, I appreciate the knowledge gained but encourage practically everyone I meet to read this book because raising children isnt for the wimpy and there is valuable information in these pages! One of my top 5 books this year!
Monette Chilson
I had the pleasure of hearing Dr. Sax speak at my daughter's school during the time I was reading his book. He has fantastic statistics, particularly on anxiety in young women and what triggers it. He goes a step further than just presenting the data, though, offering helpful ideas for parents who want to do what they can to mitigate anxiety-producing environments for their daughters.

The only reason I gave the book four stars instead of five is Sax's penchant for duality in gender characterizati
Nicole Mckenzie
An eye opening look at the pressures teen girls face in our current culture. By discovering their true identity thorough positive intergenerational relationships with women, and having a spiritual life, girls can prevent or reverse the negative thought/behavior patterns, which many of them are engaged in.
Everyone who has a daughter should read this book. In clear terms it describes what are the new crises for girls. The world is changing quickly and as a parent I feel like I have some catching up to do if I want my children to be confident un-anxiety ridden and balanced teens and adults.
305.23082 SAX
CD 305.23082 SAX
book points
--- girls push to present a sexual identity before their sexual identity has been formed. Confused about meaning of sexuality.
---cyberbubble block the process of developing the sense of self. Danger of cyberbubble is performing is not living

Chap 1 : First factor: sexual identity
p19 This is a fundamental difference between female sexuality and male sexuality. For many boys and young men, sex is primarily about achieving a sexual climax and release. For most
Mike Horne
Very interesting book to read. I agreed with a lot, but not everything. Rearing girls seems a whole lot harder now than 20 years ago (and it was super hard then!). He sums up his book (Following the Defense of Food book).

Have friends.
Not too many.
Mostly female.

I think his thesis is--Make sure your daughter has a strong sense of who she is. This will require you to "cloister" her from the world and then slowly make her the captain of her own life. He has clearly been influenced by the Sacred Hear
4.5 stars. An excellent analysis of real-world problems facing girls today. The chapter about girls who live in a cyber-bubble was especially intriguing. Dr. Sax's explanations validated my feelings of reservation as it pertains to so many areas that distress me in regards to my own daughter. Early sexualization of girls; technology which keeps them connected 24*7 to their friends (and prevents them from being connected to their true selves); technology like social media that forces them to pres ...more
Just like Dr. Sax's book about boys, I think this one should be a must read for parents of girls. I think the research is fascinating and a little scary. This book, like the boys book reconfirmed my appreciation for the youth organizations of the Church that provide the community of men and women that kids need for support and growth and learning. Girls compared to boys not surprisingly seem to be more mysterious creatures. The problems and solutions are a little more abstract for the girls than ...more
4.5 stars.
A good discussion on problems facing girls today. I agreed with most of what he said and was happy to find a champion for immodesty, teaching girls balance, and common sense rules on computer use.

I could relate to the young women's loss of self and complete focus on academics. After college I struggled to identify myself outside of academics. I am now learning to find my true self. I think he hits the mark on how an unbalanced life or complete focus on one are (academics, athletics, e
I rarely read parenting books, but the subtitle on this one caught my eye. I thought I would read it, then, if it was good, suggest it to my husband, because our daughter will be thirteen in a couple weeks. Not only did I give it to him to read, I promptly began recommending it to friends with younger daughters.

The four factors were not ones I have not heard about or considered on my own, but Sax presents them very well, and the extent of some of the issues was truly beyond what I had imagined.
After addressing four main factors of the modern crises for girls (sexual identity, the cyberbubble, obsessions and environmental toxins), the author looks at solutions from the perspectives of mind, body and spirit. The flow of the solutions part of the book was different than that of the first half, but still I thought both sections of the book were useful. In terms of defining the problems for some tween and teen girls, the author noted initially that hard-working girls with drive and motivat ...more
Teresa G
I rushed through this book, partly because I had the Boys Adrift book to read also and I checked them out from the library, but also because I couldn't seem to learn all he had to say fast enough. Throughout my reading, the thought that kept coming to mind was, "It is so important that I read this now!" We all want our girls to grow up healthy and with great self esteem and habits. I thought his commentaries on the world we live in and what it is doing to our girls was spot on. I was very surpri ...more
I have found great wisdom in all three of the books I've read by Dr. Sax. With this one, while I may not agree with every single thing he says, we are basically on the same page about most of it. I gave it four stars because not only did it impart information to me that I was unaware of before that will be useful as I raise my own daughters, it also made me think of my relationship with my girls and what I can do now and what I should do in the future for them. I appreciate any book that causes ...more
Susan Bazzett-griffith
This was a solid book-- I loved how Sax pinpointed the deep need for girls to have a community of other women, including other women of other generations, as a true key to female empowerment and fulfillment. I also loved his ideas on the ridiculously early, completely unnecessary and mind-boggling even to those who are active participants, in the treatment of young girls' sexuality-- I thought he handled the topic with great class. I was not as thrilled with his chapters on environmental toxins- ...more
Beth A.
I loved this one. It was a quick read, really interesting, and lots of information that applies to my current life and parenting decisions.

What's great about this book is he identifies problems/risks and identifies solutions, ways to prevent or lessen the problem. I especially liked the list on how to avoid BPA. (Did you know it's in your canned food?) Also, the information on phthalates, chemicals that disrupt the endocrine system and are in almost any lotion or personal care product that has
Lukas Lovas
Very well put. This book is eyeopening on so many levels...while there should be gender equality, boys and girls (and for that matter, men and women) aren't the same, and equality won't be achieved by making both genders operate the same way. This book shows, why, how and what are the alternatives.
Informative, not too long, yet with detailed information.
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Raising young women in today's society 1 5 Jul 08, 2010 05:02AM  
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Leonard Sax is an American psychologist and family physician. He is the author of Why Gender Matters (Doubleday, 2005) and of Boys Adrift: the five factors driving the growing epidemic of unmotivated boys and underachieving young men (Basic Books, 2007). He is founder and executive director of the National Association for Single Sex Public Education (

A cover story for TIM
More about Leonard Sax...
Boys Adrift: The Five Factors Driving the Growing Epidemic of Unmotivated Boys and Underachieving Young Men Why Gender Matters: What Parents and Teachers Need to Know about the Emerging Science of Sex Differences The Collapse of Parenting: How We Hurt Our Kids When We Treat Them Like Grown-Ups Pourquoi les garçons perdent pied et les filles se mettent en danger (Psy-Santé)

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“Defining yourself in terms of how you rank is always dangerous and ultimately immature. It doesn't matter whether the rank has to do with your grades, your weight or where you finished in the 800 meter race. Becoming a mature adult means, among other things, that you define yourself relative to your own potential, not relative somebody else's standard.” 0 likes
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