"A fascinating and empowering text for women of all ages."
--Publishers Weekly

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Speaking at Washington University
Read an interview on the book in the May issue of O Magazine

Read Joyce's quotes on girls and sexualized clothing in The New York Times

"Joyce McFadden, a psychoanalyst and the author of "Your Daughter's Bedroom," said girls today are unprepared to withstand sophisticated efforts by corporations that prey on girls' desire to be popular. "As parents, we're so afraid to talk honestly with our daughters about their sexuality that we end up leaving them out in the cold," she said."

Read Full Article here >

How to Talk to Our Daughters about Sexuality

“The mother-daughter relationship isn’t static—it changes over the years. And we don’t really cross a line into being sexual, or in becoming a woman. It is a gradual process.”

Hear what women have to teach us about ourselves, and why sexuality, long before adolescence and long after, is an important feature of the mother-daughter relationship:

Joyce Speaks at the UN:

UN panel on girls’ puberty and confidence with representatives of WHO, UNESCO, UNICEF and Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health

Link here, footage is 1:41 to 1:46:43


Reviews for Your Daughter’s Bedroom:
Insights for Raising Confident Women

“Psychoanalyst and Huffington Post columnist McFadden offers insight and honesty in a discussion of the healthy ways mothers can help their daughters grow comfortable and knowledgeable about their sexuality. In August 2005, the author launched the Women’s Realities Study, a research project that aimed to take the pulse of modern women by asking open-ended questions about relationships, motherhood and mental health, among others. Her intended goal was to create a companion piece to the classic Our Bodies, Ourselves. Mission accomplished. The author clears away the heavy clouds that overshadow topics many daughters do not learn about from their mothers (and which mothers often dread sharing with their daughters): menstruation, masturbation and sex. For generations, embarrassment, shame and even fear have kept this crucial information from being handed down to daughters. McFadden stresses that mothers must learn to value their own sexuality and to lead by example. This position is one many women may strain to achieve, however, as historically society has pigeonholed women into neatly gift-wrapped boxes with nothing “dirty” showing through the seams. “No matter how sexually alive [a woman] was before, as soon as she becomes a mother, we act as though her erotic life is over,” writes the author. McFadden provides examples of mothers willing to take on and embrace these changes, and how they do so with trust, warmth and often space. There are hurdles to cross and backs to be straightened when it comes to this topic, but daughters need their mothers, and it’s time they heard their voices. An empowering resource for mothers and daughters everywhere.”—Kirkus Reviews

“I couldn’t put it down. This book is a revolution in mindful caring for girls. It tells us how to dispel our own mother/daughter myths and how to realize and support our girls in the recognition and celebration of their sexual selves to gain lifelong physical and mental happiness. This is the book I would recommend to all my mothers of girls and to all their doctors, teachers and therapists. I wish I had this book when I started in pediatric practice 20 years ago: from it I’ve learned that I missed so many opportunities to nurture my female patients as females growing into themselves. I love this book.”—Barbara H. Landreth, M.D., Clinical Instructor in Pediatrics, Weill Cornell Medical College, Pediatrician, The New York-Presbyterian Hospital

“What an amazing and insightful guide for mothers facing the huge challenge of supporting their daughters amidst the many “hate your body” media messages that assault all of us daily.”—Judy Norsigian, co-author of OUR BODIES, OURSELVES

Your Daughter’s Bedroom is loaded with the kind of insight, wisdom, and practical advice that all mothers need to know to raise healthy daughters who are comfortable with their own sexuality. I highly recommend it!”—Christiane Northrup, M.D., ob/gyn physician and author of the New York Times bestsellers: WOMEN’S BODIES, WOMEN’S WISDOM and THE WISDOM OF MENOPAUSE”

“Using thousands of intimate interviews with women Joyce McFadden argues that –despite ourselves and inadvertently—sexism comes, in part, from the unhealthy messages we send our daughters about sex and behavior. A groundbreaking look at sexuality, mothers, daughters, and the myriad subtle ways one generation of women shapes the next.”
—Jennifer Baumgardner, author of MANIFESTA, LOOK BOTH WAYS and ABORTION & LIFE

“In this important book Joyce McFadden shows how mothers affect their daughters’ sense of self through the sort of sexuality they model as well as their explicit communications and exhortations. It’s an honest, surprising and compelling look at this crucial contemporary dilemma.”—Jessica Benjamin, Professor of Psychology, New York University, author of THE BONDS OF LOVE

“An important book that gets at the heart of the mother and daughter bond and finally explodes the myth that women have to turn themselves into sexless Stepford wives to be good mothers. Expansive, honest, informed, and real.”—Deborah Siegel, author of SISTERHOOD, INTERRUPTED “


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About My Work
After treating countless women who felt alone and isolated in experiences that they were unaware many other women were dealing with too, I began to ask what I could do to help them reach out to each other. The result was the launch of the Women’s Realities Study in which I interviewed hundreds of women from ages 18-105, about the most private issues as I sought to understand what events in a woman’s life impact her future happiness and self-confidence. What I found was truly revealing— the theme that most interested them as they explored their identities was how their relationship with their mothers influenced their understanding of themselves as sexual beings throughout their lives.

In my study of 450 women, they reveal that when their mothers conveyed that sexuality was somehow bad, or when they left sexuality out of the dialogue while they were growing up, it set them up to feel alienated from themselves--from their feelings, their instincts and their bodies.  This, in turn, made them lose faith in their mothers' ability to be there for them in the ways they needed, which created distance in the mother- daughter relationship over their lives together.