Present Day Plagues Damaging Girls Pt. 1

Show Notes:

The following 3 issues are current plagues that are damaging girls: good girl conditioning, the lack of down time and unstructured play, and early specialization in sports and activities.

What is good girl conditioning?

Dr. Jordan describes how girls experience unhealthy good girl conditioning. He describes lists of qualities of good girls, bad girls, and real girls derived from discussions at his retreats and camps.

Mixed messages that confuse girls

Also discussed are the detrimental and confusing mixed messages girls receive due to the good girl habituation.

Negative effects of decreased down time and recess

This podcast discusses the effect of several intensification movements in education that amped up academic pressures on kids to their detriment. This caused a decrease in the amount of down time kids experience today. He also discusses the negative effects of reduced recess that afflicts most kids today as well as the benefits of real, unstructured, unsupervised, kid-directed play.

How early specialization hurts girls

The third plague discussed is the early specialization in sports and music and other activities experienced by girls today. Go back and relisten to his previous podcast on the damage youth sports does to kids in this link: Take back the game podcast 1-19-23

Girls need autonomy to sample interests in order to develop expertise

Dr. Jordan also presents good data on the value of letting kids sample lots of activities where they can, in the words of author David Epstein in his book, Range: “Eventual elites play a variety of sports, mostly in unstructured or lightly structured environments (think backyard pickup games). They learn. They develop. They gain a range of skills. In the process, they discover not just what they’re really good at … but also what they really like. Then they focus. Then they dedicate. Then they pursue excellence.”

For other resources on this topic, go to Dr. Jordan’s website at


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