Sax MD PhD

Thanks for visiting my web site. If you want to find out more about me, or about my three books, or about my fourth book which comes out next year, then this is the place. The photo at right was taken by Clay Blackmore back in 2004 when I had thicker hair and it was still mostly black. As you can see from the more recent photos below, I now have thinner hair and it's now mostly grey. But hopefully I am a little wiser.

I have the privilege of serving the people of western Chester County Pennsylvania as a family physician, employed by LG Health. If you would like make an appointment to see me at the offices of Parkesburg Family Medicine, please click here for the practice address and phone number.
If you would like to get in touch with me to talk about child and adolescent development, or if you would like to hire me for a speaking engagement or a workshop, please click here for contact information.


For more information about my workshop 
 The 4 Bullies
Strategies to eliminate the four types of bullying

please click HERE


For more information about my workshop 
 boys adrift
please click HERE at right by Stuart Nicol.
Mr. Nicol took this photo during my 2013 visit
to St. George's School for Girls, in Edinburgh.


For more information about my workshop
Beyond Resilience:

Helping girls and boys to become UnFragile
please click HERE


For more information about my workshop
Social media and online video games:

what teachers, parents and students need to know
please click HERE

I lead workshops on a wide variety of topics. Here are several more:

o The transfer of authority from parents to children. American parents used to tell kids what to do; today, American parents are more likely to ask the child what the child wants to do. Why that's harmful; why it's important for parents to be parents.

o Gender-aware strategies for broadening educational horizons and boosting academic achievement, so that the same boy who loves football and video games will love Jane Eyre and Jane Austen; so that the same girl who loves Twilight will also love computer science and physics;

o The diagnosis and misdiagnosis of ADHD; many students have deficits of attention, but not all deficits of attention are due to ADHD; other conditions, such as sleep deprivation, can mimic ADHD – and nowadays lots of boys are staying up past midnight firing photon torpedoes at the enemy, while many girls are staying up past midnight Photoshopping their pictures for their Facebook page;

o The impact of endocrine disruptors on development in girls and in boys, and what parents can do to minimize this impact

o The biggest change in American culture over the past 40 years, which is: the transfer of authority from parents to children; why that's harmful; how to be an authoritative, loving parent

o Gender issues in the use of, and in the consequences of using, social media such as Facebook, YouTube, Tumblr, Snapchat, Instagram, and online video games – with an emphasis on what parents need to know and do

You will find some of this information in my second book Boys Adrift and in my third book Girls on the Edge. If you would like more detailed information about my professional development workshops for teachers and school administrators; my presentations for parents and communities; or my workshops for counselors, psychologists, and juvenile justice professionals; please contact me. at right by Bill Cramer.
Mr. Cramer took this photo during my visit to Boys' Latin,
a public charter school in West Philadelphia.

My first book, Why Gender Matters: what parents and teachers need to know about the emerging science of sex differences was published in hardcover by Doubleday (2005) and in an expanded softcover edition by Random House (2006). My second book, Boys Adrift: The five factors driving the growing epidemic of unmotivated boys, was published by Basic Books in 2007; an expanded softcover edition was published in 2009. My third book, Girls on the Edge, was published by Basic Books in 2010; an extensively-revised, updated softcover edition was published in 2011. Supplemental information and additional links for Girls on the Edge is available by clicking here. I am now working on a fourth book, about the ways in which American parents have abdicated parental authority over the past thirty years, and how that abdication of authority has been harmful to children. Today, American children often make many of the decisions which parents used to make - such as which school to attend - and that's not a good thing.

At this website, you can:

Contact me

Read an excerpt from Why Gender Matters

Read an excerpt from Boys Adrift

Read an excerpt from Girls on the Edge

Get more information about me:

My education and experience publications
My events for 2005
My events for 2006
My events for 2007.
My events for 2008.
My events for 2009.
My events for 2010.
My events for 2011.
My events for 2012.
My events for 2013.

Please contact me if you'd like to know whether I'll be leading a workshop or other event in your area in the next 12 to 18 months.

Comments from people who've heard me speak.

Watch me discuss Why Gender Matters with Al Roker on the TODAY show

Watch me discuss Boys Adrift with Matt Lauer on the TODAY show

Watch me discuss Girls on the Edge with Kiran Chetry on CNN's American Morning

Watch me discuss recent research suggest that ADHD is over-diagnosed in American schoolchildren, on CNN's American Morning

Watch me talk with John Stossel about why a growing proportion of American boys are disengaging from academic achievement, on Fox News' Reactions

order Why Gender Matters from

order Boys Adrift from

order Girls on the Edge from

order the SPANISH LANGUAGE edition of Why Gender Matters (unabridged) directly from the publisher in Mexico

Order the GERMAN language edition of Boys Adrift

My books have also been translated into Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.

order the audio version of Why Gender Matters from

order the audio version of Boys Adrift from

order the audio version of Girls on the Edge from

Get in touch with me, either by phone, e-mail, or snail mail

The four factors driving the new crisis for girls

"The best book about the current state of girls and young women in America . . . offers astonishing and troubling new insight . . ."
The Atlantic magazine, February 2011

"Packed with advice and concrete suggestions for parents, Girls on the Edge is a treasure trove of rarely-seen research on girls, offering families guidance on some of the most pressing issues facing girls today. Dr Sax's commitment to girls' success comes through on every page."
   — Rachel Simmons, author of Odd Girl Out and The Curse of the Good Girl


"This is essential reading for parents and teachers, and one of the most thought-provoking books on teen development available."
   — Library Journal, May 1 2010

"Crucial . . .Parents of tween and teen girls would do well to check this book."    — Professor Mark Bauerlein, Emory University, April 30 2010, writing for The Chronicle of Higher Education

"In clear, accessible language, Sax deftly blends anecdotes, clinical research, and even lines of poetry in persuasive, often fascinating chapters that speak straight to parents . . . Warning that a 1980s solution won't help solve twenty-first-century problems, Sax offers a holistic, sobering call to help the current generation of young women develop the support and sense of self that will allow them to grow into resilient adults."
   — Booklist, April 15 2010


"Dr. Sax once again combines years of experience with compelling research and common sense to intelligently challenge the status quo of what it means to raise a healthy daughter. Girls on the Edge offers skills parents can incorporate to feel more competent with our girls and young women."
   — Florence Hilliard, Director, Gender Studies Project, University of Wisconsin - Madison


"Turn off your cell phones and computers, and read this book! You will connect with your daughter in new ways, and she will thank you."
   — Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso, author of In God's Name and God's Paintbrush


"Written through real stories and supported by strong evidence in the fields of education, psychology, and the sciences -- a MUST read."
   — Margaret Ferrara PhD, University of Nevada - Reno


"Leonard Sax brings together a rare combination of psychoanalytic training with a deep empathy for girls and their stories in this important book. His argument that girls are struggling to find their centers will resonate and his recommendations for how to locate them will inspire."
   — Courtney E. Martin, author of Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters


The five factors driving the growing epidemic of unmotivated boys and underachieving young men

Boys Adrift is a must-read for any parent of boys. This is real science, and Dr. Sax thoroughly uncovers the important health issues that parents of boys need to be tuned into.”
— Dr. Mehmet Oz, Professor and Vice Chairman, New York Presbyterian Hospital, Columbia University; and co-author of the bestseller YOU: Staying Young: The Owner's Manual for Extending Your Warranty

“Excellent and informative references and information are provided . . . Powerfully and persuasively presented.”
The Journal of the American Medical Association; click here to link to the full review

“Startling . . . like a brick thrown through your window.”
CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation); click here to read the complete post

“Sax, in his pointed, conversational new book, Boys Adrift, reports seeing something new in his medical practice, and hearing something disturbing in the comments after his talks around the nation. Parents and girlfriends describe boys and young men plastered to the controls of their video games, hostile to school, disconnected from adult men and listless on "academic steroids" prescribed to them for attention deficit disorders. Sax zeroes in on these maladies . . .Boys Adrift is an important entry into the conversation. This call to reconsider how the boy becomes the man is worth heeding.”
The Cleveland Plain Dealer; click here to read the full review

“Dr. Sax is the Al Gore of the gender crisis. He has EDUCATED us about the nature and scope of the problem. He has WARNED us about the consequences of doing nothing. And he has INSPIRED us to take action in our schools and in our communities.”
— Michael Halfin, Huron Heights Secondary School, Newmarket, Ontario

Boys Adrift presents a straightforward argument that incorporates solid research and, thankfully, does not blame feminism. . . Sax also makes sure to remind us that he doesn't think girls have it easier. But at a time when it is almost unusual to find a young man with drive and direction, Sax's work is an important part of a growing public discussion. ”
The Stranger (Seattle's alternative newspaper); click here to link to the full review -- AND to view a provocative illustration by artist Kris Chau

“This book is insightful, engaging, and easy to read. It is essential reading for parents of girls and boys, and for those who expect to become parents. I have passed my copy of the book to my daughter. The epidemic of unmotivated boys and underachieving men is real and demands action; this book provides a carefully researched analysis of the problem and offers useful advice on how to deal with it.”
— Professor Craig Anderson, Iowa State University

“This is the most important book that I have ever read, and I've read a lot of parenting books. I have purchased ten copies and am giving them as Christmas and birthday gifts to all of my friends who have boys. I have kept 3 for myself which I am loaning out. This is a must read for anyone who has a boy. ”
— Lisa Morgan-Long, Oakville, Ontario; click here to link to the original comment

Why Gender Matters

What Parents and Teachers Need to Know about the Emerging Science of Sex Differences

"Until recently, there have been two groups of people: those who argue sex differences are innate and should be embraced and those who insist that they are learned and should be eliminated by changing the environment. Sax is one of the few in the middle -- convinced that boys and girls are innately different and that we must change the environment so differences don't become limitations."
          -- TIME Magazine, cover story; click here to read the original story


Praise for Why Gender Matters:

". . . a lucid guide to male and female brain differences. . ."
The New York Times

"When I was a college freshman, a male teaching assistant I sought help from told me matter-of-factly that women were not good at inorganic chemistry. Had I been armed with Why Gender Matters, about how biological differences between the sexes can influence learning and behavior, I could have managed an informed rejoinder to go along with my shocked expression. . . . Using studies as well as anecdotes from his practice and visits to classrooms, [Sax] offers advice on such topics as preventing drug abuse and motivating students. . . . The book is thought-provoking, and Sax explains well the science behind his assertions. . . [Why Gender Matters] is a worthy read for those who care about how best to prepare children for the challenges they face on the path to adulthood."
Scientific American Mind

"As the principal of an elementary school, I am constantly on the lookout for outstanding articles and books about gender-specific learning differences. Why Gender Matters is the best I've read."
-John Webster, Head of School, the San Antonio Academy

"Why Gender Matters is an outstanding work of scholarship. I am going to make it our 'faculty read' this summer."
-Paul Krieger, Headmaster, Christ School (North Carolina)

"In this reader-friendly book, Dr. Sax combines his comprehensive knowledge of the scientific literature with numerous interesting case studies to argue for his thesis that single-sex education is advantageous."
Dr. Sandra Witelson, Albert Einstein/Irving Zucker Chair in Neuroscience, McMaster University

"Extremely interesting . . . Challenged many of my basic assumptions and helped me to think about gender in a new way."
Joan Ogilvy Holden, Head of School, St. Stephen's School, Alexandria, Virginia

"I simply will never be able to express how eye-opening this book has been for me. Yes me -- even though I thought I was a boy-raising specialist. After all, I have produced four healthy and smart athletes. I must know what I'm doing. But many of my boy-raising days I thought I was going mad. I'd come home from some sports event trembling because of the way the coach yelled at my kid. I'd ask my husband and whichever son it happened to be that day how they could stand being yelled at like that. Almost every time husband and son would look at me and not have any recollection of being yelled at during the game. Now I understand!!!!!!!!!"
-Janet Phillips, mother of four boys, Seneca, Maryland

"Why Gender Matters is an instructive handbook for parents and teachers . . . to create ways to cope with the differences between boys and girls."
-The Boston Globe

"Fascinating . . . This book is interesting because it takes an 'outside the box' position on gender. Paradoxically, Sax says, gender-neutral education favors the learning style of one sex or the other, and so only drives men and women into the usual stereotyped fields. The best way to raise your son to be a man who is caring and nurturing, says Sax, is to first of all let him be a boy. The best way to produce a female mathematician is to first of all let her be a girl. . . I think Sax is on to something. Mature men and women do draw on qualities that stereotypically belong to the opposite sex. But the easiest way to get them to that point is to first make them confident about being a man or a woman. . . Sax adds that children are less happy and confident nowadays because no one is teaching them how to be men and women. This is a powerful, even obvious insight, once you dare think it. . . In quick succession, with Mary Eberstadt's Home Alone America and Leonard Sax's Why Gender Matters, we've seen two important, creative, and politically incorrect takes on family life and childhood."
-Stanley Kurtz, National Review Online.

My education and experience

I attended public schools in Shaker Heights, Ohio, from kindergarten through grade 12. I graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1980 with a bachelor's degree in biology, and then went to the University of Pennsylvania, where I earned both a PhD (in psychology) and an MD. I went on to do a 3-year residency in family practice at Lancaster General Hospital in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. In 1990, I launched a family medical practice in suburban Montgomery County, Maryland, about 30 minutes northwest of the District of Columbia. I practiced in the same location, serving families in the same small town, for 18 years (1990 - 2008). My wife and I lived about 300 yards from my office. In June 2008, my family and I moved to Chester County Pennsylvania. From June 2008 through December 2013, I devoted myself to working with schools, school districts, and communities on issues of child and adolescent development, and to preparing my third book Girls on the Edge and my fourth book, on the collapse of American parenting (to be published next year). In January 2014 I returned to medical practice (Parkesburg Family Medicine) although I continue to do speaking engagements and lead workshops as time permits.

Take a look at some comments from people who have heard me speak

I had the privilege of serving as guest editor for a special issue of devoted to gender differences in how children learn. I also contributed to this special issue, as well as editing it. Regarding my other publications: I have broken down the following (partial) list into "scholarly" and "popular." "Scholarly" publications are intended for an academic audience, professors at universities etc. "Popular" publications are intended for a general audience.

Selected popular publications

Blame parents, not kids, for sexting.

Wall Street Journal, October 24 2013

'Unspecified Mental Disorder'? That's Crazy.
Psychiatry's diagnostic bible has broadened the definition of mental illness to absurdity.

Wall Street Journal, June 26 2013

Why not just put ALL the kids on medication? (two overlooked trends in the data on kids diagnosed with ADHD)

Psychology Today, April 2013


“Risky, even used as intended” (long-term risks of stimulant medications for ADHD)
New York Times, June 9 2012

Girls' knees and gender confusion
Psychology Today, June 2012.

Child psychiatry is sick with hidden conflicts of interest,
New York Daily News, December 14, 2008.

TWILIGHT sinks its teeth into feminism
Washington Post August 17, 2008.
My op-ed about Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series prompted many comments, mostly negative. Many of the bloggers seem to have read only the headline (written by an editor at the Post), and assumed I was attacking feminism, which I wasn't. Other bloggers assumed that I didn't like the Twilight books, and wrote about how great the books are. Please take a look at my response to the bloggers at this link.

What's happening to boys?
Washington Post, March 31, 2006.

In this op-ed for the Washington Post March 31 2006, I called attention to the growing phenomenon of the "Failure to Launch" boy/man: a young man in his 20's, or even his 30's, who is still living at home with his parents -- and who doesn't see what the problem is. The Washington Post invited me to host a one-hour on-line chat, which broke all previous records for the Washington Post: they shut the system down after receiving 395 posts in about 35 minutes. You can read the transcript of the online chat session here.

Too Few Women: Figure It Out.
Los Angeles Times, January 23, 2005, p. M5.

Teens Will Speed. Let's Watch Them Do It.
The Washington Post, November 28, 2004, p. B8.

Ritalin: Better living through chemistry?
The World & I, November 2000, 287-299.

Selected scholarly publications

Sex differences in hearing: implications for best practice in the classroom.
Advances in Gender and Education, 2:13-21, 2010. Full text available online at no charge at Advances in Gender and Education web site.

Polyethylene Terephthalate May Yield Endocrine Disruptors.
Environmental Health Perspectives, 118(4):445-448, 2010. Full text available online by clicking here (full PDF).

My commentary on the possible risks of PET triggered a hostile reply from Ralph Vasami, director of the trade group representing manufacturers of PET. You can read his letter, and my answer to his letter, by clicking here. This is a two-page PDF; my reply to Vasami is on the second page.

The Diagnosis and Treatment of ADHD in Women.
The Female Patient, 29:29-34, November 2004.

Dietary Phosphorus Is Toxic for Girls But Not for Boys.
Invited chapter, in: Annual Reviews in Food & Nutrition (Victor Preedy, editor), Taylor & Francis Publishers, London, UK, 2003, Chapter 8, pp. 158-168.

Who First Suggests the Diagnosis of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder? A survey of primary-care pediatricians, family physicians, and child psychiatrists
[with Kathleen J. Kautz RN, BSN]. Annals of Family Medicine, 2003, 1:171-174. Available online here.

What Was the Cause of Nietzsche's Dementia?
Journal of Medical Biography, Royal Medical Society, London, February 2003, 11:47-54. Available online here.

How Common Is Intersex?
The Journal of Sex Research, August 2002, 39(3):174-178. Available online here.

Maybe Men and Women Are Different.
American Psychologist, July 2002, pp. 444-445.

The Institute of Medicine's ‘Dietary Reference Intake' for Phosphorus: a critical perspective.
Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 20(4):271-278, 2001.

Reclaiming Kindergarten: making kindergarten less harmful to boys.
Psychology of Men and Masculinity, American Psychological Association, 2(1):3-12, 2001. Download full text as a PDF by clicking here.

Characteristics of spatiotemporal integration in the priming and rewarding effects of medial forebrain bundle stimulation.
Behavioral Neuroscience, 105(6):884-900, 1991. [with C. R. Gallistel]

Are we training too many subspecialists?
Journal of the American Medical Association, 259(18):2697-2698, 1988.

Temporal integration in self-stimulation: a paradox.
Behavioral Neuroscience, 98(3):467-478, 1984.

Contact me

You can reach me by e-mail, snail mail, fax, or telephone:

E-mail: send e-mail to MCRCAD "at" (replace "at" with "@").

Snail mail: send regular mail to me (Leonard Sax MD PhD), 64 East Uwchlan Avenue, #259, Exton, Pennsylvania 19341.

Fax: send a fax to 610 993 3139.

Telephone: call us at 610 296 2821 between 9 AM and 4 PM Eastern Time.

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