Tuesday, December 4, 2018

GIRL TALK by Jacqueline Mroz

What Science Can Tell Us About Female Friendship
Author: Jacqueline Mroz 
Foreword: Claire Messud
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Seal Press (November 13, 2018)
Genre:Nonfiction/Psychology/Interpersonal Relations 
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1580057675
ISBN-13: 978-1580057677
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches


In Girl Talk, New York Times science reporter Jacqueline Mroz takes on the science of female friendship–a phenomenon that’s as culturally powerful as it is individually mysterious. She examines friendship from a range of angles, from the historical to the experiential, with a scientific analysis that reveals new truths about what leads us to connect and build alliances, and then “break up” when a friendship no longer serves us.

Mroz takes a new look at how friendship has evolved throughout history, showing how friends tend to share more genetic commonalities than strangers, and that the more friends we have, the more empathy and pleasure chemicals are present in our brains. Scientists have also reported that friendship directly influences health and longevity; women with solid, supportive friendships experience fewer “fight or flight” impulses and stronger heart function, and women without friendships tend to develop medical challenges on par with those associated with smoking and excessive body weight.

With intimate reporting and insightful analysis, Mroz reveals new awareness about the impact of women’s friendships, and how they shape our culture at large.

My Thoughts

Jacqueline Mroz, an acclaimed journalist who often writes about reproductive and family issues, investigates the science behind our friendships by speaking with evolutionary anthropologists, psychologists and interviewing neuroscientists who’ve conducted research studies.

Her book, Girl Talk: What Science Can Tell Us About Female Friendship, looks at the history of friendships from a multicultural viewpoint. It begins with relationships of Nuns and moves on through Quakers, Witches,  Victorian-era women to present day.

In looking back at my history, the vast majority of my early years involved family sporting activities and there was not much time to focus on female relationships, ergo, I didn't begin to value my female friendships until high school. 

My most cherished high school friend was so much fun. We enjoyed the same school activities. I hung out at her house and her at mine. On the weekends, we went to the movies and shopping. We would throw parties for one another and during the summers we vacationed together.

After high school, she went off to college and I got married. She returned to be my maid of honor. She never married but moved nearby and remained my bestie for the rest of her life. She passed away, without warning, thirteen years ago and I miss her greatly! Social media affords me the opportunity to keep in touch with her family and other friends I had back in high school.

Mroz, with the help of a friend, conducted a study of women’s friendships learning that the number one thing women look for from a friend is support.

Nowadays, my closest girlfriend is older than me and lives about ten minutes away.  We share similar ambitions and interests. We get together frequently and chat over coffee or lunch and call and reassure one another when it comes to our work and family issues.

I believe a friend allows us to focus time and energy on someone other than ourselves and yet we are gifted in return by having someone to share with. So, it’s not really surprising to me that it’s professed that breaking up with a close friend can feel worse than a divorce- and worse yet- is having a friend pass that you can no longer attempt to contact.

This compilation includes Mroz’s own experiences, as well as friends, and looks at famous relationships and how to forge deep and meaningful friendships. This book also shows the value of striving to comprehend behaviors, recognize influences, and develop a clear picture of what friendships are for and how they shape our culture.

I received a copy of this insightful book from Shadin Al-Dossari with the Marketing Department of Da Capo Press | Lifelong Books | Seal Press An Imprint of Perseus Books | A Hachette Book Group Company

About the Author

Jacqueline Mroz is a writer and journalist who has worked on newspapers in New York, Boston, New Jersey, Buenos Aires, Argentina, and in radio for the BBC World Service in London. Her popular New York Times article about a sperm donor with 150 children became the book, Scattered Seeds: In Search of Family and Identity in the Sperm Donor Generation. Her background in science writing, and her experiences with her friends, led her to write her newest book: Girl Talk: What Science Can Tell Us About Female Friendship. Her love of books inspired her to help found the Montclair Literary Festival, in Montclair, NJ. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and three sons.

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