Now in paperback, the first book to document how participating in sports changes young girls' lives during the difficult years of adolescence.
From high-profile women's professional leagues to high-school-level champions, girl athletes are acheiving record breakthroughs. Witness, for example, the first spectacular season of the WNBA, or the celebrated victories of women's teams at the 1996 Olympics. The female athlete is a new media darling especially beloved of today's teenage girls, who are almost as likely to have pictures of Rebecca Lobo, Mia Hamm, or Gabrielle Reece on their walls as posters of Leonardo DiCaprio.
So it seems paradoxical that many books and studies attest to a truly sobering picture of girls' lives. With her book Reviving Ophelia, Mary Pipher was only the latest in a string of theorists to describe the dramatic ways in which girls loose self-esteem during the critical years of adolescence, contributing to eating disorders, drug problems, and chronic depression in many young women. In Raising Our Athletic Daughters, journalists Zimmerman and Reavill set out to talk with girls and their parents about how sports can transform girls' lives. Here are firsthand stories from the inner cities and rural playing fields across the nation, offering compelling evidence that participation in athletics makes an extraordinary difference in the lives of young girls, from reducing pregnancy rates and substance abuse to increasing college attendance. Raising Our Athletic Daughters is a clarion call for all those eager to help their children succeed and level the playing field, at last.