iOS app Android app

Dr. Peggy Drexler
GET UPDATES FROM Dr. Peggy Drexler
Dr. Peggy Drexler, Author, Our Fathers Ourselves. Daughters, Fathers, And The Changing American Family

You can reach me through this Web site:

I am an Assistant Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry, Weill Medical College of Cornell University and former Gender Scholar at Stanford University.

I’ve spent my career studying sex and gender: men and women, boys and girls, and how they come together in families. As the concept of family continues to pass through a time of stress and redefinition, my research has taken me deep into their lives. I’ve explored who they are, what they want, and how they are changing. It’s been a fascinating journey.

I’ve had a life-long interest in how children are affected and shaped by their relationships with the men and women in their families. I’ve looked at how these early associations influence how they live, work and love– and how content they are with the adults they have become.

Our Fathers Ourselves. Daughters, Fathers, And The Changing American Family is about the changing connection between fathers and daughters. (Rodale, May 10, 2011). Using my personal story, research, and the first person stories of the many women I’ve interviewed, the book examines the state of a powerful bond in a time of unbridled female choice and opportunity. It explores how daughters can enhance the bond, and even recreate it, by breaking through the roles and assumptions of the past.

My first book was the much discussed, Raising Boys Without Men. It introduced readers to boys in single and two-mother families. The book earned wide praise and was a finalist for a Books for a Better Life Award and a Lamda Literary Award.

I’ve been fortunate to share my ideas and findings in a variety of academic settings, including presentations at Harvard Law School and Harvard Medical School.

I’ve also appeared on and written for a wide range of national and international media, including: The Today Show, Good Morning America, NPR, New York Times, USA Today, Good Housekeeping and Parents magazines. My blogs appear regularly on Huffington Post.

Entries by Dr. Peggy Drexler

Mental Illness--No Motive Required

(116) Comments | Posted November 26, 2015 | 10:15 AM

The case of Abigail Hanna--the pretty, blonde 21-year-old who allegedly kidnapped a toddler she once cared for before shaving her head, burning her with cigarettes, and leaving her by the side of the road some eight miles from her home--has the media fascinated, and it's easy...

Read Post

It's Not Enough to Tell Someone Your Feelings Anymore; You Have to Post Them on Social Media

(3) Comments | Posted November 16, 2015 | 10:08 AM

Of course we're thinking about Paris. Do we really -- each and, it seemed, every single one of us -- need to repeat the same trite words or post the same stock photos to prove as much? Is it not enough to just feel anymore, without taking to social media...

Read Post

When Mom's Depressed, What Happens to the Kids?

(23) Comments | Posted November 13, 2015 | 5:25 PM

Recent studies have revealed that at least one in eight--and as many as one in five--mothers develop symptoms of mental disorder in the year after giving birth. This can mean the sort of postpartum depression we tend to think about when we think about disordered moms, but it can also...

Read Post

Straight Shooting: The "Gun Problem" Isn't a "Mental Illness Problem." It's Just a "Gun Problem."

(628) Comments | Posted November 5, 2015 | 8:36 AM

Increasingly, when we talk about gun violence in this country we also talk about mental illness. In many ways, this is not surprising: A number of instances of gun violence are committed by those with untreated, or undiscovered, mental disorders. This has lately led many politicians to place the blame...

Read Post

Are You Your Own Worst Enemy?

(10) Comments | Posted August 14, 2015 | 11:25 AM

The good news: Women at work are more capable than ever before, practically oozing competence at every turn. Female employees now make up half the workforce, and the impact they're having on that workforce is significant: A 2011 Catalyst analysis of Fortune 500 companies found that those businesses with women...

Read Post

The Work of Feminism Is Far From Over

(72) Comments | Posted August 7, 2015 | 9:12 AM

It's not far into the new movie Trainwreck that audiences understand just how well the lead character lives up to the film's title. Protagonist Amy, played by comedian Amy Schumer, is a women's magazine writer who drinks a little too much, has sex that's a little too casual, says the...

Read Post

Parenting Anxiety Centers Around How Kids Will Turn Out

(13) Comments | Posted August 1, 2015 | 9:49 AM

My daughter had just finished her spring semester of her junior year at college when I asked if she might be interested in a mother-daughter trip to Utah. I love the desert, but most of all, I wanted to spend time with her. Especially since I wasn't sure she'd say...

Read Post

Friends and Envy: When Your Friends Have More -- and When They Have Less

(13) Comments | Posted July 25, 2015 | 7:10 AM

Other people's wealth. Here in the U.S., we're seemingly obsessed. The idea of it inspires movies and books, sells magazines, and makes headlines. It provokes endless gossip.

One reason for that may be because the difference between those who have, and those who have less, has never been starker....

Read Post

Donald Trump: There He Goes Again

(0) Comments | Posted July 19, 2015 | 9:30 PM

Sunday morning's headlines opened with the latest high-profile controversy swirling around billion-dollar businessman and presidential hopeful Donald Trump, following a presidential forum held on Saturday in Iowa in which Trump declared that John McCain, a five-year prisoner during the Vietnam War, "is no war hero" -- at least, not in...

Read Post

When Parenting Tweens Don't Sweat It

(6) Comments | Posted July 11, 2015 | 1:44 PM

It's tough being 10. At 10, a kid's hormones are starting to kick into high gear. Biology may be pushing him to grow up, introducing new, strange feelings (and smells), while his parents may be encouraging more "adult-like" responsibilities and attitudes. But at 10, he's also still a little kid,...

Read Post

Is It Possible To Raise Happy Kids In Affluence?

(0) Comments | Posted July 7, 2015 | 12:10 PM

It's been proven time and again that socioeconomic status is by far the most significant indicator of child welfare. Usually when we talk about money we talk about families that have too little. We talk about how children of low-income parents are 15 percent less likely to finish high school...

Read Post

7 fatos sobre a relação entre pais e filhas

(0) Comments | Posted June 26, 2015 | 6:42 PM

Escrevi meu livro Our Fathers, Ourselves depois de encontrar pouquíssimas pesquisas sobre pais e filhas. Apesar da evolução dos papéis sociais de homens e mulheres, o vínculo entre pai e filha - quer seja um vínculo forte e reforçador ou algo quebrado ou inexistente - ainda exerce influência enorme sobre...

Read Post

Fathers Are Not Mothers to Their Daughters

(31) Comments | Posted June 20, 2015 | 11:38 PM

I set out to write a book Our Fathers Ourselves after finding very little research on fathers and daughters. Despite the evolution of women's and men's social roles, the father-daughter bond -- whether strong and nurturing or broken or non-existing -- still holds an enormous sway over women. No matter...

Read Post

Women On Top?

(35) Comments | Posted June 12, 2015 | 9:45 AM

Every time a woman leaves a big organization to start her own business, the media goes a little nuts: Powerful Woman breaks free from the shackles of The Man to take back the office! Oh, the feminism of it all. In recent years, there have been plenty of high profile...

Read Post

Women Are Growing Tired of Conforming to Men's Standards

(193) Comments | Posted May 30, 2015 | 10:23 AM

High heels have always been central in the battleground of sexual politics, with feminists and other pro-gender egalitarians often at odds. One on hand, many wonder if it's possible to argue for gender equality while hobbling around on six-inch heels. On the other: How is what women wear relevant at...

Read Post

Teach Your Kids To Talk To Strangers

(45) Comments | Posted May 22, 2015 | 6:51 PM

Of all the public service campaigns embraced throughout the years, that which seems to have made one of the more lasting impressions is also among the more misguided: Don't talk to strangers. The phrase has become a sort of unquestioned edict passed from parent to child, from one generation to...

Read Post

Will We Ever Get Along Again?

(88) Comments | Posted May 11, 2015 | 8:55 AM

In late April, thousands of mourners said their goodbyes to Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old black man who died of a spinal cord injury while in police custody in Baltimore. It was not a peaceful day of mourning. Teenagers pelted police with rocks, boards, and blocks of concrete, accusing them of...

Read Post

10 Questions Answered About Fathers and Daughters

(13) Comments | Posted April 21, 2015 | 2:54 PM

1. How do daughters learn from their fathers? Are there lessons fathers are better able to teach than mothers?

More and more, fathers are treating their little girls like they might have treated sons in the past: teaching them to fish, taking them camping, familiarizing them with things like car...

Read Post

Indiana's RFRA May Help End Bigotry

(141) Comments | Posted April 17, 2015 | 2:09 PM

The latest news out of Indiana shows Governor Mike Pence's popularity taking a big hit, with a recent poll conducted by Bellwether Research putting Pence's approval rating at 45 percent, down from 62 percent in February. The decline has been linked to the state's implementation of the controversial Religious Freedom...

Read Post

Mean People Suck But They Are Often Successful

(34) Comments | Posted March 13, 2015 | 9:40 PM

I don't know John Boehner or Ted Cruz personally. They might be nice guys. But I don't think so.

As a T-shirt I've seen often on the streets of Manhattan says: "Mean people suck." And yet they seem to pop up everywhere: in the airplane seat in front of...

Read Post