This book was excellent. I think I underlined half of it. Dr. Leonard Sax focuses on four factors/issues he sees occurring with and ultimately harming girls nowadays.
Factor #1: The sexualization of young girls (and how this often leads to the self-objectification of women). The way in which our overfocus on outward appearance harms the development of the self over time and in a way leads to atrophying of the soul.
Per the insights of Dr.Sax, sexuality is good. Sexuality is about your identity as a woman (or man), it is about feeling sexual and being comfortable with this. This is a healthy part of being human. A healthy aspect of becoming an adult. It’s also internal. Not visible from the outside, it is instead, a part of you inside.
Sexualization, however, which currently runs rampant throughout our culture, is about being an object for the pleasure of others. It’s about being on display for others. And this is not good for women or men in varying ways.
Sexuality is a part of who you are. Sexualization is about how you look.
Factor #2: The cyberbubble, meaning, women (though I think this also applies to men) who are hyper-focused on social media, texting, email, Pinterest, Facebook, you name it, are missing out more authentic human connection.
Regularly sacrificing meaningful face-to-face connection and social skills for fake, on-screen, pseudo connection, as well as essentially living their life through the lens of branding oneself for their online image.
This can result in a lack of inner/emotional/mental development or even lack of knowledge of who one truly is on the inside. Their deeper, authentic, inner self. Girls who are over-focused with online/social media tend to be concerned with performing, perfecting, and creating an ultimately contrived image and self for the reaction of others, at such a cost that they fail to develop a true sense of self.
Factor #3: Obsessions, such as with thinness (aka eating disorders), over-exercise, sports, perfect academics, etc. Each of these obsessions indicating and resulting in a severely imbalanced life for the girl engaged in the particular obsession. What she is using as a means by which to try and placate as well as quell anxiety, though which ultimately harms and hinders the girl’s potential growth and development, as well as her mental health and happiness.
Factor #4: The last one, environmental toxins which can hurt girls’ physical and as a result, emotional development. From chemicals in plastic and lotions, which mimic female hormones to the degree that they are prompting puberty to start significantly earlier in girls (which then causes them a whole host of life problems as a result), to ill eating habits, all of this serving at diminishing their health in general.
I found this book riveting, eye-opening, informative, and important for our current times with regards to the lives of girls and women. Highly recommend to everyone, whether you have children of your own, or are a young woman yourself, or even just as someone interested in current culture and the lives of women. Excellent read.