978-0-609-80560-2 / 9780609805602

See Jane Win: The Rimm Report on How 1,000 Girls Became Successful Women


Publisher:Three Rivers Press



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About the book:

See Jane Win is a parents' guide for turning girls into happy, successful women. Child psychologist Sylvia Rimm, along with her daughters--a research psychologist and a pediatric-oncology researcher--spent three and a half years collecting data and conducting interviews to devise the 20 basic points detailed in this book. Their conclusions were based in large part on a detailed questionnaire completed by over 1,400 women with successful careers in a variety of fields, including science and technology, media, the arts, medicine, law, and education. (Homemaking and volunteer work do receive some token attention, but there is a clear professional bias in their definition of success.) Their goal is to "identify the essential childhood elements that encouraged these women to achieve fulfilling careers" in order to alert other parents to them. In this, they achieve their aim. See Jane Win is well organized and informative. Even if some of the advice leans toward common sense, the combination of professional opinion and personal experience is an effective one, animating statistics that could otherwise be as dry as chalk dust.

In the Rimms' findings, education emerges as the key common denominator. High academic expectations, good study habits, strong math and science skills, and a love of reading (no television!) are all stressed. They also encourage parents to resist the urge to overprotect girls, and recommend fostering a healthy love of competition in order to build self-confidence. Indeed, self-esteem is a major underlying theme of the book. The authors discuss in detail how to combat eating disorders, social insecurities, and the negative image of women often portrayed in the media.

Overall, this is a useful compendium of sound advice and enlightening case studies that ultimately serves to underscore one vital point: Parents do make a difference. Sugar and spice are certainly nice, but See Jane Win offers a more substantial recipe for the raising of daughters. --Shawn Carkonen

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