SPEAKING engagements

Peggy Orenstein is the author, most recently, of Don’t Call Me Princess: Essays on Girls, Women, Sex, and Life. Her other books include The New York Times best-sellers Girls & SexCinderella Ate My Daughter and Waiting for Daisy as well as Flux: and the classic SchoolGirls:. A contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine, Peggy has also written for such publications as The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, Vogue, Time, New York , The Atlantic and The New Yorker, and has contributed commentaries to NPR’s All Things Considered and the PBS Newshour. 

An internationally-acclaimed expert on the challenges facing girls--and their parents--as they come of age in today’s culture, Peggy's  fresh take on such topics as sexuality, body image, pop culture and social media have made her a sought-after speaker on high school and college campuses as well as at professional conferences, where she is known for provocative insight,  a conversational style and  her surprising wit.  

Peggy’s most popular talks include:

Girls & Sex: Navigating from Shame and Regret to Integrity and Joy in a Complicated New Landscape

Inspired by her New York Times best-seller, Girls & Sex, Orenstein here offers a clear-eyed picture of the new sexual landscape girls face in high school through college and reveals how they’re negotiating it. With humor, surprising facts and compelling anecdotes, she opens up a much-needed conversation about an often silent subtext of teenage life, without ever reducing its complexities to simplistic “truths.” Touching on the ways in which porn and its sexual myths have seeped into young people’s lives; the role of "hookup culture"; the impact of media and social media; how what “counts” as sex has changed; the painful realities surrounding assault; consent education; and taboos around discussing female sexual pleasure (and why that endangers girls), Orenstein understands what needs to be said, and why we need to say it. This talk (in different forms) is appropriate for high school students as well as college students and, of course, adults (parents, teachers, advocates, therapists etc). While its main subject is girls, the subject matter has been enthusiastically received by boys as well!

From Princesses to Pop-Tarts: What the New Culture of Girlhood Means for Girls and the Grown-Ups Who Care About Them

Concerns about the media messages urging the premature sexualization of girls, and the attendant risks, used to focus on twelve or thirteen-year-olds. No more. The new pink and pretty "girlie-girl" culture encourages girls from infancy onward to believe that how they look matters more than who they are. Orenstein discusses the trajectory of girls’ culture from toddler through “tween": even as new educational and professional opportunities appear before today's girls, so does a path equating identity with image, self-expression with appearance, pleasure with pleasing, and sexuality with sexualization. Orenstein illuminates the potential negative impact of the new girlie-girl culture, but argues persuasively that with awareness and recognition, parents and advocates can effectively counterbalance its influence.


“Everyone felt Peggy’s visit was a total success, especially the students! Her message was perfectly prepared and directed for those in the room. She got terrific questions after her talk. And she stayed for at least 30 minutes after that to answer follow up questions and talk with students who didn’t get a chance to go to the mic. She was awesome!”
Elon University 

“Peggy is a terrific speaker. Not only is she insightful and smart, drawing from numerous sources to support her points with intelligence and humor, but she somehow manages to present her material in a manner that is fresh, authentic and unrehearsed. It is a rare speaker who can find the balance of “sticking to the topic” and still maintain a spark of spontaneity, yet Peggy manages to do just that. The feedback we received was overwhelmingly positive and we hope Peggy Orenstein’s visit will have a lasting impact on the parents – and the children – in our city. “ —The Newton Partnership, Newton, MA

“Peggy spoke in our all-school assembly and then again at night to a packed audience from the local area. She is fearless and tackled all the important questions that appear in her book, Girls and Sex, although she was careful to ask about appropriate guidelines with the student group.  She is an excellent speaker and held the interest of both audiences from beginning to end. It’s worth noting that Peggy was equally good with students of all genders, and spent quite a bit of time with students who identify as male. They found her to be an excellent listener and she helped them probe what it means to be male in this era. Coupled with her stated topic of femininity, desire, and pleasure, this openness made her a valuable presence on campus for all our students.” —Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, NH  (administrator)

"It was exciting and inspiring for me, following Peggy's talk,  to watch my female and male classmates reconsidering the societal expectations surrounding sex to which they had unknowingly held themselves, and engaging in real conversation about our campus's sexual culture and its effect on all genders." Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, NH  (student)

“She spoke plainly to students about sex in the voice of their hip and funny favorite aunt who wears cool jewelry and might have toured with a band."
Oberlin College

“Peggy is a wonderful presenter! Very engaging. Material was extremely helpful. Her research is crucial to our better understanding of issues faced by girls. Wonderful keynote!!”
Renfrew Foundation, National Conference for Eating Disorder Professionals

"Peggy’s visit to our school was transformative. She sparked conversations between kids and adults that have been incomplete, censored or missing. Students brainstormed how to talk to their parents about sex. Parents considered expanding the conversations to foster healthy relationships. Three days later, students are organizing open space dialogue to explore the intersections of sexuality and other identities with each other. Girls and boys feel empowered to openly consider their roles and how they reinforce or break societal norms.”
Catlin Gable School, Portland, OR

“Our parents are hungry for Peggy’s message. Many said that she was one of the best speakers we have ever had.”
Marlborough School, Los Angeles, CA

“Peggy’s talk was everything we could have hoped for! Our community was so engaged  - both during the presentation and after, talking to each other in small groups for a long time.  We loved how she included the students' voices and how she listened so well to them.”  
Mountain View Los Altos Speaker Series, Mountain View, CA

“Our students were very much energized by your talk, and most importantly, want to keep this conversation going! One group approached the principal to ask for more educational programming about healthy sexuality as well as tools to combat harassment. So great!  Thank you!!” –Campbell Hall, Los Angeles, CA



Marymount College
MiraCosta Community College
Montclair State University
Sacramento State University
Seattle University
Sonoma State University
Stern College for Women
University of Akron
University of California at Berkeley School of Journalism
University of California at San Francisco Medical School
University of Delaware
University of Nevada
University of North Carolina
University of Oregon
University of Richmond
University of South Dakota
University of Southern Indiana
University of Virginia
University of Wisconsin
Virginia Tech University
Washington University
West Chester University
Wheaton College

Boston College
Carleton College
Central Washington University
Diablo Valley College
Drake College
Elon University
Franklin & Marshall College
Goucher College
Hamline College,
Harvard School of Education
Hastings College
Indiana University
Kalamazoo Valley Community College
Kent State University
Lehigh University
Loyola College
Marquette, University
New School for Social Research
Northeastern University
Northwestern University
Ohio University
Oberlin College
Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University
Rice University

Mount St. Benedict's School, Sydney, Australia
National Association of Principals of Schools for Girls, Jacksonville, FL
National Education Association, Conference on Women and Minorities, Washington DC
The Northwest School, Seattle, WA
Orchard House School, Richmond, VA
The Park School, Baltimore, MD
Patchie’s Place, San Diego, CA
Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, NH
Piedmont High School, Piedmont, CA
Prospect Sierra School, El Cerrito, CA
Roland Park Country School, Baltimore, MD
Sacred Heart School, Atherton, CA
St. David’s School, Minneapolis, MN
St. George’s School, Middleton, RI
St. Margaret's School, Brisbane, Australia
St. Martin of Tours School, San Jose, CA
St. Michael's Collegiate School, Hobart, Australia
San Francisco Council of Parent Participation Nursery Schools, San Francisco, CA
The Spence School for Girls, New York, NY
The Thacher School, Ojai, CA
United Nations International School, Hanoi, Vietnam
The University of Chicago Lab School, Chicago, IL
Walnut Hills High School, Cincinnati, OH
The Wilderness School, Adelaide, Australia

Almaden Country School, San Jose, CA
The Berkeley School, Berkeley, CA
Black Pine Circle School, Berkeley, CA
The Blake School, Minneapolis, MN
Canadian Teachers Federation, National Status of Women Conference, Ottowa, Ontario
Drew School, San Francisco
Campbell Hall, Los Angeles, CA
Catlin Gabel School, Portland, OR
Family Montessori School, El Cerrito, CA
Gender Equity Council, Dade County, FL
Georgetown Day School, Washington, DC
Greater Edmonton Teachers Convention Association, Edmonton, Alberta
The Laurel School for Girls, Cleveland, OH
Head Royce School, Oakland, CA
Educational Leadership Association, Toledo OH
Epiphany School, Seattle, WA
The Julia Morgan School for Girls, Oakland, CA
Katherine Delmar Burke School, San Francisco, CA
Lexington Community Education, Lexington, MA.
Los Altos/Mountain View Public Schools, Los Altos, CA
Loyola Academy, Chicago, IL
Marin Country Day School, Mill Valley, CA
Marin Primary and Middle School, Larkspur, CA
Marlborough School, Los Angeles, CA
Mercersburg Academy, Mercersburg, PA
Mountain View Los Altos School District, Los Altos, CA

Lifeworks for Women Conference, Chicago, IL
League of Women Voters Women’s Equality Day, Evansville, IN
National Charity League, Wellesley, MA
National Council of Jewish Women AFFIRM Conference, Minneapolis, MN
National Gender Development Research Conference, San Francisco, CA
Nishmah: The Jewish Women’s Project, St. Louis, MO
Planned Parenthood of Northern California
Professional Business Women of California, State Conference, Los Angeles, CA
The Renfrew Center Foundation Annual Conference, Philadelphia PA
Santa Clara County Women’s Health Conference, South San Francisco, CA
Schoolgirls Symposium, Santa Fe, NM
Seattle Conference on Gender Equity, Seattle, WA
Western States Girl Scout Leadership Council Conference, Carmel, CA
The White House Council on Women and Girls, Washington, DC
Women for a New Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Women’s Foundation of California, Los Angeles, CA
Womentum Conference, Jackson Hole, WY
Write On Mamas, Mill Valley, CA

Alliance for Girls annual conference, San Francisco, CA
Alliance of Girls Schools Australasia
About-Face , San Francisco, CA
American Association of University Women, Danville, CA
American Association of University Women, national conference, Orlando, FL
Breast Cancer Action, San Francisco, CA
Council of Women World Leaders, The Aspen Institute, Washington, DC
Festival of Women Authors, Berkeley, CA
Center for Domestic Peace, Marin County, C
Girls’ Coalition Conference, Pittsburgh, PA
Girls Day School Trust, London, England
Girls Inc., Dallas, TX
Girls, Inc., Houston, TX
Girls, Inc., Alameda, CA
Girl Scouts of America, New York, NY
Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland, Salina, KS
Hadassah National Conference, Los Angeles, CA
Hadassah Foundation Leadership Conference, New York, NY
Jewish Federation Women’s Division, Minneapolis, MN
Lean On Conference, Tuscaloosa, AL

Jewish Community Center, San Francisco, CA
Jewish Community Center, Syracuse, NY
Jewish Family Services, Los Angeles, CAJewish Cultural Center, London, England
Juvenile Justice Workers annual conference, Minneapolis, MN
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX
National Social Venture Network Conference, Cincinnati, OH
Oakland Children’s Hospital, Grand Rounds
The Newton Partnership, Newton, MA
Public Library, Lafayette, CA
Public Library, Pleasanton, CA
St. Joseph Hospital, Baltimore, MD
SMART ART annual conference on reproductive technology, Las Vegas, NE
Smart Sex Salon, Minneapolis, MN
South by Southwest Festival
TEDWomen conference
Time, Inc., New York, NY
Tribeca 92nd Street Y, New York, NY
VCU Massey Cancer Center, Richmond, VA
Writer’s Bloc Literary and Cultural Series, Los Angeles, CA
YPO Rocky Mountain, Denver, CO

5×15 Speakers Series, London, England
Alta Bates Hospital, Grand Rounds
American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, national convention
American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists, National Conference
American Society of Reproductive Medicine Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA
California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, Larkspur, CA
Chelsea Art Museum, New York, NY
Club Book, Woodbury, MN
Darien Community Association, Darien, CT
Edina Morningside Church, Edina, MN
Fox Rothschild LLP, Minneapolis, MN
Google, Los Angeles, CA
Google, Seattle, WA
The Heartland Fall Forum, Chicago, IL
Hudson Library and Historical Society, Hudson, OH
International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals, national conference
Illinois State Women and Families Conference