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.
more information about my workshop
For more information about my
Photo at right by Stuart Nicol.
Mr. Nicol took this photo during my 2013 visit
to St. George's School for Girls, in Edinburgh.
more information about my workshop
more information about my workshop
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.
Photo at right by Bill Cramer.
Mr. Cramer took this photo during my visit to Boys' Latin,
a public charter school in West Philadelphia.
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:
My education and experience
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.
My books have also been translated into Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.
"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
— 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
— 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
— 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
— Courtney E. Martin, author of Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters
“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
and informative references and information are provided . . . Powerfully and
— The Journal of the American Medical Association; click here to link to the full review
. . . like a brick thrown through your window.”
— CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation); click here to read the complete post
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
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
— 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
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
— Professor Craig Anderson, Iowa State University
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
"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
". . . 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.
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.
I had the privilege of serving as guest editor for a special issue of Education.com 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Will Speed. Let's Watch Them Do It.
The Washington Post, November 28, 2004, p. B8.
living through chemistry?
The World & I, November 2000, 287-299.
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.
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.
Diagnosis and Treatment of ADHD in Women.
The Female Patient, 29:29-34, November 2004.
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.
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.
Was the Cause of Nietzsche's Dementia?
Journal of Medical Biography, Royal Medical Society, London, February 2003, 11:47-54. Available online here.
Common Is Intersex?
The Journal of Sex Research, August 2002, 39(3):174-178. Available online here.
Men and Women Are Different.
American Psychologist, July 2002, pp. 444-445.
Institute of Medicine's ‘Dietary Reference Intake' for Phosphorus: a critical perspective.
Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 20(4):271-278, 2001.
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.
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]
we training too many subspecialists?
Journal of the American Medical Association, 259(18):2697-2698, 1988.
integration in self-stimulation: a paradox.
Behavioral Neuroscience, 98(3):467-478, 1984.
You can reach me by e-mail, snail mail, fax, or telephone:
E-mail: send e-mail to MCRCAD "at" verizon.net (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.