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Dr. Peggy Drexler
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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

What's Mental Illness Got to Do With Success?

(24) Comments | Posted February 19, 2016 | 8:35 AM

Last week, CNN published a piece about the tech industry's secret struggle with suicide and mental illness, relaying several stories of silent sufferers whose endings were tragic. And, unfortunately, suffering seems only barely in the minority: One study found that nearly half of all Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and execs had...

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The Political and the Psychological: What Politicians Aren't Saying About Mental Health

(23) Comments | Posted February 12, 2016 | 9:29 AM

With election season firmly underway, the barbs between those-who-would-be-president are, predictably, heating up. The latest round of trash talking between GOP contenders Donald Trump and Jeb Bush has particularly focused on the other's mental health, if in an entirely juvenile sort of way. This, unfortunately, is the most common format...

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Mental Illness: Talk About It More, Not Less

(10) Comments | Posted February 5, 2016 | 1:50 PM

How important are the words we choose to use when we speak to one another?

Exceedingly important -- and not just from a grammarian's point of view. Science also tells us so. Research out of Stanford has proven that the words a person uses affect the way that person...

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Mental Illness Gets the Celebrity Treatment. That's a Good Thing

(16) Comments | Posted January 29, 2016 | 12:57 PM

Actress and Girls creator Lena Dunham has been one of the more tireless celebrity advocates for openness around the subject of mental illness, frequently talking about her own struggles with anxiety, depression and obsessive compulsive disorder in the press and on social media. Most recently, she posted to Instagram a...

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'부자병'은 정말로 존재하는 병일까?

(2) Comments | Posted January 25, 2016 | 1:15 AM

2013년에 음주 운전으로 보행자 4명을 죽게 하고 여러 명을 다치게 한 텍사스의 이선 카우치(18)는 술을 마시는 것으로 보이는 영상이 퍼진 뒤 멕시코로 도주했다. 매체들은 헤드라인과 기사 본문에서 카우치를 '부자병 affluenza'에 걸린 십대라고 꼬박꼬박 불러주고 있다. '부자병'은 2013년에 카우치가 재판을 받을 때 변호인 측이 카우치가 특권을 누리며 자라서 생긴...

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Is Affluenza Real?

(170) Comments | Posted January 22, 2016 | 7:13 AM

As prosecutors await 18-year-old Ethan Couch's return from Mexico in order to conduct a hearing to consider whether the Texas teen -- who killed four pedestrians and injured two others while driving drunk in 2013 -- violated the terms of his probation by leaving the U.S. after a video surfaced...

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¿Por qué tenemos miedo de las enfermedades mentales?

(0) Comments | Posted January 18, 2016 | 5:56 AM

Esta semana, en parte gracias a los 15 millones de dólares de crédito por parte del Congreso estadounidense, el Consejo Nacional de Estados Unidos para la Salud Mental ha lanzado una campaña para informar sobre cómo identificar emergencias en personas que padecen enfermedades mentales o que abusan de sustancias y...

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Why Do We Fear Mental Illness?

(95) Comments | Posted January 6, 2016 | 10:42 AM

This week, thanks in part to a $15 million appropriation from Congress, the National Council for Behavioral Health launched a campaign aimed at training a million people in recognizing when someone, be it a stranger or a person they know, is experiencing a mental health or substance abuse emergency --...

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Mental Illness: A Smoking Gun

(47) Comments | Posted December 18, 2015 | 11:49 AM

As of this week, nearly 950 people have been shot dead by police in 2015, according to data maintained by the Washington Post. Throughout the year, the conversation surrounding a number of these police shootings has centered on race, and justifiably so: Unarmed black men are seven times...

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Are Radicals Mentally Ill?

(210) Comments | Posted December 10, 2015 | 5:59 AM

Though investigators looking into the couple who opened fire on a holiday party last week at a San Bernardino social services agency, killing 14 and wounding 21, have not yet confirmed whether the pair may have been working on behalf of ISIS or any other foreign terror organization, a number...

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Whose Family Isn't Crazy?

(9) Comments | Posted December 4, 2015 | 7:15 AM

It's the time of year for making lists--and especially, it seems, list after list full of tips on how to deal with your crazy family, if the deluge of content on the subject (a mere week or so into the season) is to be believed.

In a recent

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Mental Illness--No Motive Required

(138) Comments | Posted November 26, 2015 | 9:15 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...

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

(2) Comments | Posted November 16, 2015 | 9:08 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...

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

(22) Comments | Posted November 13, 2015 | 4:25 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...

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

(626) Comments | Posted November 5, 2015 | 7:36 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...

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Are You Your Own Worst Enemy?

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

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The Work of Feminism Is Far From Over

(69) Comments | Posted August 7, 2015 | 8:12 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...

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Parenting Anxiety Centers Around How Kids Will Turn Out

(13) Comments | Posted August 1, 2015 | 8:49 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...

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

(13) Comments | Posted July 25, 2015 | 6:10 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....

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Donald Trump: There He Goes Again

(0) Comments | Posted July 19, 2015 | 8:30 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...

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