Editor's Note: When we asked frequent Her.meneutics blogger Caryn Rivadeneira to review Secure Daughters, Confident Sons: How Parents Guide Their Children into Authentic Masculinity and Femininity (Multnomah), we knew it would get her—and readers—on a roll. The book, from Glenn Stanton, director of family formation studies at Focus on the Family, covers two of the most thorny topics in evangelical circles: gender differences and parenting styles. In her blogging and book-writing, Caryn has given much thought to both, and her review received many amens from readers, mostly women, who have experienced traditional definitions of femininity to be confining and untrue. Yet we also decided to give Stanton the space to further articulate his views on the two topics. Below is his response, which we hope will move the gender-and-parenting conversation beyond well-trod lines of debate.
These days, most discussions on gender unfortunately gravitate to one of two extremes. Either we reduce gender to mere plumbing and social construction, or we have what I call the "pretty-in-pinks" and the "macho-Joes": neat and easy, black and white, a good boy is rough and tumble, real girls are gentle and sweet, and so on. In Secure Daughters Confident Sons, I want to help parents explore the vast terrain that lies between these extremes. It's where most of us live. Can we speak meaningfully and authentically about male and female while navigating the space between? It is the best place in which to do so.
My book takes Genesis 1:27—and thus what it means to be gendered persons—very seriously. In fact, Christianity takes femininity very seriously, for it "images," or reflects, God in the world like nothing else can. There is ...1
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