The Triple Bind - Saving Our Teenage Girls from Today's Pressures


The Triple Bind - Saving Our Teenage Girls from Today's Pressures
A book review on the scholarly examination by Dr. Stephen Hinshaw of the pressure on teenage girls.

The Triple Bind boldly addresses the issues behind these phenomena. Certainly, the mental health problems under consideration have biological and even genetic risks. But genes have not changed suddenly, within the span of a few years. There must be something about the current social climate that is pushing the envelope, uncovering girls’ vulnerabilities. What could this “something” be? In our view today’s girls have unique pressures: (1) to be nurturing and supportive (the traditional role for girls); (2) to be competitive and “on top” (with the new opportunities girls have); and (3) to make it all seem effortless and natural, in a ultra-sexualized and ultra-feminized way, with no real alternatives to develop a unique identity. It is this third part of the triple bind that gives girls no way out--with the 24/7 world of the cyber-culture making every move and every “look” visible to the outside world... and with media images of highly sexualized teens visible nearly everywhere. Through careful summaries of research and through vivid case examples, this analysis covers the many ways in which the triple bind rears its head. At the same time, we make the point that finding ways for our daughters to connect with a wider world of commitment and meaning may be the optimal solution to this dangerous, crucial, triple-bind problem.

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