Youth Ministry Professor Ginny Olson Featured on Podcast

Ginny Olson

CHICAGO, IL (August 13, 2007) – A Youth Specialties podcast featuring Ginny Olson discussing issues related to teen girls is available on the ministry’s website.

Olson is co-director of the Center for Youth Ministry Studies at North Park University, and has been widely recognized for her work. The Center is a partnership of North Park University, North Park Theological Seminary, and the Department of Christian Formation of the Evangelical Covenant Church.

Olson’s book, Teenage Girls: Exploring Issues Adolescent Girls Face and Strategies to Help Them, has been received as a welcome addition since its publication in 2006.

In the interview, Olson addresses challenges and opportunities for teenage girls and how youth workers can help them address life issues. Unfortunately, Olson says, girls are not taking advantage of social gains that have been made.

“Girls now are returning to a place where they are identified as sexualized creatures, so my identity is based on can I attract boys? Can I attract girls?” Olson says. “I was hoping we were really making progress. And I’m a little disappointed and that girls are narrowly defining themselves.”

Many girls with whom Olson has talked feel isolated and depressed. “They seem like they have all these social networks going on.” Olson says. “They’re not necessarily socially lonely, but they’re emotionally lonely.”

Girls need to know that, “The world is theirs if they want it. So many of the barriers have been broken down.”

Olson's podcast can be accessed here.