Peggy Orenstein

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Peggy Orenstein
Orenstein speaks on Boys & Sex at Town Hall Seattle in 2020
Orenstein speaks on Boys & Sex at Town Hall Seattle in 2020
BornNovember 22, 1961
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Alma materOberlin College

Peggy Orenstein (born November 22, 1961) is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Girls & Sex, Cinderella Ate My Daughter and Waiting for Daisy, a memoir.

A contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine,[1] she was named in 2012 by The Columbia Journalism Review as one of its "40 Women Who Changed the Media Business in the Past 40 Years".[2]


Peggy Orenstein's ideas revolve around the discrepancy between men's and women's sexuality. For example, in an interview with 70 women between 15 and 20, she found that the young women realised that they were expected to please their sexual partners but did not expect it to be reciprocated.[3] Orenstein feels that the best way to address this discrepancy would be for parents to be more open to discussing sexuality with their daughters and teaching them to not feel embarrassed about it. Orenstein also discusses how the idea of sexual promiscuity for women is a double edged sword. Such as, if a young woman were to have sex she would be considered a slut, but if she didn't have sex then she was considered a prude. Orenstein states that this idea devalues the idea of sexual health in young women, and encourages them to walk a fine line between “slut” and “prude.” Orenstein also states that this idea of sexual promiscuity also devalues gay girls and that it would be best to broaden the definition of virginity to include multiple stages, as to not devalue those who haven't lost their virginity by cultural standards.[3]


Orenstein has been named by the Columbia Journalism Review "40 women who changed the media business in the past 40 years."[4]

She has also been recognized by the "Council on Contemporary Families for her "Outstanding Coverage of Family Diversity".[4]

Selected works[edit]

  • SchoolGirls: Young Women, Self-Esteem and the Confidence Gap. New York: Random House, 1994. ISBN 9780385425766, OCLC 475227709
  • Flux: Women on Sex, Work, Kids, Love and Life in a Half-Changed World New York : Anchor Books, 2001. ISBN 9780385498876, OCLC 473835765
  • Waiting for Daisy New York: Bloomsbury, 2007. ISBN 9781596912106, OCLC 192169835
  • Cinderella Ate My Daughter New York, NY : Harper, 2012. ISBN 9780061711534, OCLC 808058076
  • Girls & Sex New York, NY: Harper, 2016. ISBN 9780062209740, OCLC 974491998[3][5]
  • Don't Call Me Princess: Essays on Girls, Women, Sex, and Life. Harper Paperbacks, 2018. ISBN 978-0-06-268890-3, OCLC 1023574411
  • Boys & Sex: Young Men on Hookups, Love, Porn, Consent, and Navigating the New Masculinity, 2020. ISBN 978-0062666970


  1. ^ Orenstein, Peggy (2006-12-24). "What's Wrong With Cinderella?". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-01-18.
  2. ^ "The divine sisterhood". Columbia Journalism Review. Retrieved 2018-01-18.
  3. ^ a b c Orenstein, Peggy (2006-03-29). "'Girls & Sex' And The Importance Of Talking To Young Women About Pleasure". National Public Radio. Retrieved 2018-03-03.
  4. ^ a b Orenstein, Peggy (2020). "About Peggy". Peggy Orenstein. Retrieved 25 March 2021.
  5. ^ Holbrook, Sharon (2016-03-29). "Parents need to talk to their daughters about the joys of sex, not just the dangers". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2018-01-18.

External links[edit]