Joyce T. McFadden
Palgrave Macmillan Trade
Your Daughter’s Healthy Identity Starts With You
After psychoanalyst Joyce McFadden treated countless women who felt alone and isolated in experiences that they were unaware many other women were dealing with too, she began to ask what she could do to help them reach out to each other. The result was the launch of her Women’s Realities Study in which she interviewed hundreds of women from ages 18-105, about the most private issues as she sought to understand what events in a woman’s life impact her future happiness and self-confidence. What McFadden found was truly revealing— the theme that most interested them as they explored their identities was how their relationship with their mothers influenced their understanding of themselves as sexual beings throughout their lives—from the time they were little girls straight through adulthood.
Drawing on over a thousand responses, Your Daughter’s Bedroom offers a new and unprecedented look at the mother-daughter bond. McFadden argues that the type of womanhood mothers model for their daughters determines the young girls’ comfort with their own bodies which, in turn, leads to confidence and satisfaction later in life. From the most mundane and everyday gestures—a reluctance to call body parts by their real name; an offhanded suggestion to lose weight— to how mothers introduce life altering events such as the start of puberty and sexual exploration, all of these have an impact on a girl’s psyche. She found that in an attempt to protect and shield daughters, mothers withhold important information and leave girls to wrestle with their own bourgeoning sexuality and other challenges of growing up.
Offering a fresh perspective on the fraught mother-daughter relationship, McFadden shows how mothers can create the right environment for their daughters to grow into self-assured women. Your Daughter’s Bedroom is an essential resource for women who want to establish a more open and positive relationship with their daughters.
“A fascinating and empowering text for women of all ages.”—Publishers Weekly
"What an amazing and insightful guide for mothers facing the huge challenge of supporting their daughters amidst the many "hate your body" media messages that assault all of us daily."--Judy Norsigian, co-author of Our Bodies, Ourselves
“Your Daughter’s Bedroom is loaded with the kind of insight, wisdom, and practical advice that all mothers need to know to raise healthy daughters who are comfortable with their own sexuality. I highly recommend it!"--Christiane Northrup, M.D., ob/gyn physician and author of the New York Times bestsellers: Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom and The Wisdom of Menopause
“Using thousands of intimate interviews with women Joyce McFadden argues that --despite ourselves and inadvertently—sexism comes, in part, from the unhealthy messages we send our daughters about sex and behavior. A groundbreaking look at sexuality, mothers, daughters, and the myriad subtle ways one generation of women shapes the next.”--Jennifer Baumgardner, author of Manifesta, Look Both Ways, and Abortion & Life
“Endless talk about women as mothers has focused almost exclusively on the question of how, and whether it is possible, to raise children and still fulfill adult aspirations to work. But an equally important part of adult womanhood that has to be integrated with the competing demands of mothering is adult sexual desire. While mothers often hide their sexuality from their children, the literature seldom asks whether this helps or hurts children, and what kind of sexual honesty might actually help children to develop their own sexuality. In this important book Joyce McFadden shows how mothers affect their daughters' sense of self through the sort of sexuality they model as well as their explicit communications and exhortations. It's an honest, surprising and compelling look at this crucial contemporary dilemma.”--Jessica Benjamin, Psychoanalyst, author of The Bonds of Love
“An important book that gets at the heart of the mother and daughter bond and finally explodes the myth that women have to turn themselves into sexless Stepford wives to be good mothers. Expansive, honest, informed, and real.”—Deborah Siegel, author of Sisterhood, Interrupted
“I couldn't put it down. This book is a revolution in mindful caring for girls. It tells us how to dispel our own mother/daughter myths and how to realize and support our girls in the recognition and celebration of their sexual selves to gain lifelong physical and mental happiness. This is THE book I would recommend to all my mothers of girls and to all their doctors, teachers and therapists. I wish I had this book when I started in Pediatric practice 20 years ago: from it I've learned that I missed so many opportunities to nurture my female patients as females growing into themselves. I love this book.”--- Barbara H. Landreth, M.D., Clinical Instructor in Pediatrics, Weill Cornell Medical College, Pediatrician, The New York-Presybterian Hospital