The Triple Bind: Cultural Demands on Teenage Girls
Berkeley Arts and Letters - First Congregational Church of Berkeley
In some ways, today is the best time in history to be a girl. Opportunities for success are seemingly unlimited, yet an alarm is sounding, revealing a disturbing portrait of the stresses affecting girls of all ages.Societal expectations, cultural trends, and conflicting messages are creating what internationally recognized psychologist and researcher Dr. Stephen Hinshaw calls a "triple bind": girls are to fulfill the traditional "girl" expectations (look pretty, be nice, get a boyfriend, excel at empathy, cooperation, nurturance, relationship building), succeed at "boy" goals (get straight As, be a super athlete, win acceptance at a top college), and be skinny, sexy, and "hot" (with all the alternatives - beatnik, tomboy, intellectual, hippie, punk, goth) having been co-opted, consumerized, and forced into a single narrow definition of "sexy").This triple bind is putting more and more girls at risk for depression, suicide, self mutilation, eating disorders, and aggression.Based on his thirty
years of experience with teens and his extensive research in a long-term study with adolescent girls, Dr. Hinshaw shares his insights and provides practical and healthy solutions covering biological factors, psychological factors, and peer/community factors.