Book Review: Secure Daughters, Confident Sons

> I love to read, but I don’t exactly gravitate toward parenting books. I’ve read some, and they’re okay, but I much prefer other topics. So when it came to choosing my next Blogging for Books selection, I chose this title more out of duty and a sense of parental responsibility rather than desire. As a parent trying to train my children in the way(s) they should go, I feel it necessary to, every once in a great while, be informed about parenting methods, child development, family dynamics, and the like. Thus, Secure Daughters, Confident Sons by Glenn T. Stanton.

The second part of this book’s title is this: How Parents GUIDE THEIR CHILDREN into AUTHENTIC MASCULINITY and FEMININITY. This book is aimed at developing a greater understanding of healthy sexual identities and gender traits in our children and what we, as parents bring, to the table in terms of our gender.

It’s my guess that this book was written largely in response to our culture’s sexual liberalism and a growing gender ambiguity. Also, it seems that the author, without ever coming out and saying so, is anti-homosexual marriage based on the information he provides in children needing a male parent and a female parent as each gender brings something to the child that the other cannot provide. In order for our children to be healthy, well-adjusted, and proud of who God created them to be, children need both sexes guiding them (which doesn’t happen in same-sex unions).

Mr. Stanton asserts that across cultures and religions and nationalities, rich or poor, modern or ancient, men are men and women are women. In each people group, there are traits and qualities that identify a female as female and other distinct qualities that identify a male as male. Except for random anomalies, within the deepest parts of each person are genetic structures and character traits, linked to those genes, that tell the world, “I am a girl,”or “I am a boy.”

It is in the development of us as boys and girls/men and women that either affirms or confuses us in our sexuality and gender. Parents play a key role in that. By understanding those traits and characteristics that are common to men and those that are common to women, we should be better able to lead our children in the ways that are right for them, becoming healthier ourselves in the process.

Much of this book is laid out as comparisons between the two genders–chapters 1, 3, and 5 dedicated to boys; chapters 2, 4, and 6 dedicated to girls. The second half of the book is dedicated to the unique identities and roles of each parent. It was in this part of the book, the parenting section, where I struggled to stay keyed-in. It seemed a bit too “cookie cutter” and role specific as if this book were written for the 1950’s family (and I’m a stay-at-home mom and my husband brings home the bacon).

While this book makes a lot of generalizations, which the author often recognizes and says so, it was still interesting. I would have liked to see more detailed data comparing the different cultures to one another, identifying exactly those ways in which ALL humanity is similar in gender identification. There was a bit of this in the appendix, but I would’ve liked to have seen the stats scattered throughout the book rather than concentrated at the very end.

This book is sure to ring true for those in favor of traditional marriage and gender roles, but for those who are in favor of same-sex unions and non-traditional families, the second part of this book is sure to warm a few collars, but hopefully will set some things straight.

As for parenting books, I’m now good for this year, thanks.

Disclaimer: I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishers as part of their Blogging for Books Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”.

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