This is a great book. After I read it, I started recommending it to every woman I know who has a daughter. Or was a daughter. Or is thinking of having a daughter. I didn’t recommend it to Dr. Werner. He has four sons!
Joyce McFadden posted an on-line survey for women on the internet in an attempt to better understand what women feel most impacted their sense of self-worth and confidence. She wrote the book as a response to the information that she compiled from women who answered her on-line survey. What was missing in their life? What would they ask about if they only could? What do you think had the greatest impact on your future happiness? What she discovered is that many women felt that their mother had inadvertently shut them out of important information and conversations about their bodies and sex. And they felt that this had a significant impact on their experience as women, their experience of relationships and their confidence.
The type of womanhood that their mother modeled, their comfort with their bodies and sex, was a significant determinant of their daughter’s comfort with her own body and satisfaction with her relationships later in life. The small things (using anatomically incorrect names, for example) had almost as strong an impact as the larger areas (telling your daughter about menstruation.) Talking to your daughter openly about your relationships and sex seemed to be the most important factor for most women on their own comfort level and their own confidence.
Joyce McFadden makes the case that if you want your daughter to grow into self-assured woman, confident in her sexuality and her life, mothers need to start talking about sex. Now.
So go find your daughter. It doesn’t matter if she’s 3 or 33. Talk to her. Answer her questions. Be honest, tell her if you don’t have the answers. You’ll both be happier you did.