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Gearing Advantage

Doctors Sylvia and Milton Gearing have been serving the Dallas-Fort Worth area since 1985 with compassion and professionalism.

The Gearings implement the latest in psychological research to stay at the cutting edge of their field and bring the most effective and life changing techniques to their clients.

Their methods and strategies have been sharpened over the years, and are now built upon Gearing Up’s Three Gears of Change.

Alpha Girls - Oct 28, 2006

Alpha Girls

October 28, 2006

Dr. Sylvia Gearing, CBS 11 News

A new book, Alpha Girls, reports that today's adolescent girls may possess a self-confidence and ambition unseen in American culture. Contradicting conventional wisdom that describes the adolescent years as particularly challenging for girls, this new research says just the opposite. Here to tell us more is psychologist Dr. Sylvia Gearing.

Q: What does this new title "alpha girls" suggest about today's teenaged girl?

Dr. Sylvia: This title succinctly describes the single-minded tenacity, sense of self and empowerment that psychologists are witnessing in this latest generation of young women. They are saying to the world, "bring it on!"

Q: Has society shifted in gender roles over the last twenty years?

Dr. Sylvia: These girls are reaping the benefits from the most effective gender shift in the history of the world. For this dramatic a shift in young women to occur, they had to be born into culture with powerful mothers and societal role models available. The Condoleezza Rices, the Kay Bailey Huchinsons, and the Hillary Clintons have all had a tremendous effect on today's young woman. There are no limits to their dreams and ambitions. These girls are masterful, determined and effective.

Q: So do these trends argue that we have arrived in our power?

Dr. Sylvia: Not at all. What it does indicate is that we are moving toward equality between the genders for the first time in history. These young women have an overwhelming desire to have an equal voice and are confident that their gender will not stand in their way. According to the author, Dan Kindlon, their gender will actually accelerate their ascent to power. They no longer have to apologize for being a girl as they enter the halls of power.

Q: What are the social factors affecting these girls?

Dr. Sylvia:

New Vision of Gender Equality: The status of women is at an all-time high. These girls envision a future full of opportunity, success and accomplishment. It simply never occurs to these girls to doubt their own power!

Professional Education: Women are making huge inroads here. In 1970, fewer than 10% of students attending law, medicine and business school were women. Now women earn 40% of these degrees.

Government Seats Increasing: Our U.S. Congress (2005-2007) contains the highest number of female members in its history. Fourteen are in the Senate and seventy are in the House. In three states, both senators were women--California, Maine and Washington. In 1991, there were only four female senators and only 28 congresswomen in total.

Q: What are their relationships with their moms?

Dr. Sylvia: Seventy five percent of alpha females have moms who work outside the home. Most alpha girls have mothers who had worked outside of the home. Most of these girls absolutely love their mothers and they confide in their mothers while emulating their roles. Most importantly, they see their mothers as credible experts in navigating the world.

Q: Are fathers taking a more important role in childrearing with this generation?

Dr. Sylvia: We know that that average amount of time fathers in two-parent families spend with their children has dramatically increased over the last decade. Dads now spend around 2 hours a day with their kids and around 6 hours per weekend. We also know that the number of father-only households has increased to 4.3 million--a huge jump.

Q: How do alpha girls describe their dads?

Dr. Sylvia: Seventy-five percent of them described that relationship as either very good or excellent. They trusted their dads and felt accepted by them. Psychologists are convinced that this emotional bond between dads and daughters may explain a lot of the assertiveness of these girls. These dads emphasize a controlled, commanding approach to life rather than a cute, submissive strategy that characterized previous generations of women. Girls want to win too and have an appetite for victory that rivals any man's.

Q: Are these girls a blend of both parents then?

Dr. Sylvia: They are absolutely a blend! They possess what psychologists traditionally label as male traits and female traits. They are competitive, assertive, engage in reasonable risk-taking and enjoy physical and verbal bantering. At the same time they are empathic, emotionally insightful and are excellent at articulating their wants and needs.