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Humanities LibreTexts

6.7: Peggy Orenstein

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    Peggy Orenstein, 1961–present, is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Girls & Sex, Cinderella Ate My Daughter and Waiting for Daisy, a memoir. In addition to her bestselling books, Orenstein writes for New York Times Magazine, comments for NPR and was recognized by the Columbia Journalism Review as among its “40 women who changed the media business in the past 40 years”.

    The Speech

    What young women believe about their own sexual pleasure

    “Why do girls feel empowered to engage in sexual activity but not to enjoy it? For three years, author Peggy Orenstein interviewed girls ages 15 to 20 about their attitudes toward and experiences of sex. She discusses the pleasure that’s largely missing from their sexual encounters and calls on us to close the “orgasm gap” by talking candidly with our girls from an early age about sex, bodies, pleasure and intimacy.” from the Ted Talk description of Orenstein’s speech

    From her groundbreaking book, Schoolgirls, to her latest, Girls & Sex, author Peggy Orenstein interviewed young women across the country, mapping the terrain of adolescent female sexuality and gender expectations. Her interviews reveal an uncomfortable truth: although women may display self-confidence in public society, their knowledge of their own sexuality has plummeted, resulting in a “psychological clitoridectomy.”

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