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Girls & Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape Hardcover – March 29, 2016
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“A nuanced read for anyone who remembers being a young woman and anyone who is raising the next generation of girls (and boys) for whom we hope the future holds sexual satisfaction, not pain or disappointment.” (Rebecca Traister, More)
“Provocative and thoughtful.... Both an examination of sexual culture and a guide on how to improve it.... The breadth of Orenstein’s reporting ... is impressive.” (Laura Stepp, Washington Post)
“An honest and thoughtful exploration.... It would be easy to pigeonhole Girls & Sex as essential reading only for parents of female teens or preteens.... [But] this book is for anyone who cares for a girl approaching womanhood.” (Adrian Liang, Amazon Best Book of the Month citation)
“Girls & Sex should be mandatory for anyone who cares about the present and future cultural landscape for girls, women, humans. I seriously want to quit my job and tour the country, furiously hawking Peggy Orenstein’s insightful, important book.” (Rashida Jones, actress, writer, producer)
“[An] important new book.... Her writing is clear and compelling, her analysis is incisive and thorough, and her findings are downright troubling.” (Sharon Holbrook, Washington Post)
“Nonsensational but deeply entertaining…. A must-read.” (People, Book of the Week)
“Fascinating…. A wise and sharply argued look at how girls are navigating ‘the complicated new landscape’ of sex and sexuality.” (Economist)
“An intimate view of the sex lives of young women in the United States. While revealing disturbing common threads… Orenstein brings levity to this fraught topic.” (Elle)
“If you’re going to talk about women in the 21st century, you MUST read Peggy Orenstein’s Girls & Sex. No one else is asking these questions; so no one else, then, is finding out the answers.” (Caitlin Moran, Author of How to Be a Woman)
“A smart, sobering guide to the sexual lives of young women today.” (Ann Levin, Associated Press)
“I’m not going to tell you to go right now and buy a copy…. I’m going to tell you to buy two copies: One for yourself, and one for the teenager in your life…. Refuses to be judgmental or doom and gloom. Instead, it offers something else — a demand for education, enlightenment, and ultimately, the radical notion of equal satisfaction.” (Mary Elizabeth Williams, Salon)
“Eloquent…. [A] compact, polished, and readable… cris de coeur.” (Julia M. Klein, Boston Globe)
“With compassion and insight, Peggy Orenstein holds a mirror not only to girls’ experiences but to our own judgments. No less than the emotional health and physical safety of our daughters (and of our sons, by the way) depends on the kind of insight Girls & Sex provides.” (Rosalind Wiseman, author of Queen Bees and Wannabes)
“A wake-up call.” (Audrey Bilger, San Francisco Chronicle)
“Deeply reported, passionately argued.” (Isaac Chotiner, Slate)
“Peggy Orenstein sheds light on an important and too often misunderstood topic. Her reporting shows how a healthy and direct approach to sexuality is a key component of gender equality.” (Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and founder of LeanIn.Org)
“An enlightening, sad and shocking look into the minds of teenagers and their views on casual sex, love and relationships.” (Aimee Blanchette, Minneapolis Star Tribune)
“A sequel of sorts to Orenstein’s ‘Cinderella Ate My Daughter’…. Sketches a sobering portrait.” (Oliver Wang, L.A. Times)
“Orenstein has compiled an eye-opening study of the way that girls and women in America think, feel, and act regarding sex…. The abundant information she provides will give parents and young girls the power to make informed decisions regarding sex.” (Kirkus)
“Eye-opening…. Orenstein draws powerful, humane portraits of her interview subjects, self-reliant young women who find themselves trapped by sexist stereotypes about women’s bodies and women’s pleasure. [A] smart, earnest, and timely assessment.” (Publishers Weekly, starred review)
“Accessible prose and narrative style will bring the work of many thoughtful experts to a wider audience…. Young adults, parents, educators, and activists alike will find this passionate work a timely conversation starter.” (Library Journal)
“Sex and teenagers have always gone together, but parents reading Orenstein’s frank exploration of current trends may still be in for a shock…. This isn’t a comfortable book to read (Orenstein herself admits twinges a few times), but it’s an important one.” (Booklist)
“Orenstein is such a breezy, funny, writer, it’s easy to forget she’s an important thinker too.” (People, four stars, on Cinderella Ate My Daughter)
Top Customer Reviews
The book break down as follows: Chapter 1: girls as objects; Chapter 2: do girls enjoy sex as much as they should?; Chapter 3: what exactly is a virgin?; chapter 4: hook ups and hang ups; chapter 5: online and IRL; Chapter 6: substance abuse/rape; Chapter 7: telling them the truth. The above are my condensation of the chapter topics and not the actual chapter titles.
The main discussion areas of the book are: presenting the truth about sex to girls, the problem with objectification/low self esteem/a male driven porn industry that prioritizes male satisfaction while ignoring a woman's, how drinking and substance abuse contribute to date rape the problem with reporting/policing it, what exactly does virginity mean these days when there is so much variety in sexual acts, and abstinence vs exploration. All of the topics are discussed in detail and various viewpoints and actual experiences are given.
Orenstein is careful to not only provide factual backup but to also discuss the problems with the facts and how they can/are distorted, misinterpreted, or completely ignored. So yes, although she does interpose her opinions frequently, this does not feel like a one-sided discussion.Read more ›
- Covers and important topic.
- Talks about new trends in teenage sex such as new and different definition of "bases" (at least to those of us who are a generation older)
- Based on interviews with real live teenagers
- The interviews that the book is based on are with teenagers who answered ads for girls willing to talk with a complete stranger (the author) about their intimate sex lives. Clearly a biased sample. The book makes it sound like every college girl parties 4 nights a week, does multiple shots before the parties, only has sex when she's drunk, never enjoys sex but rather only does it to please guys. My guess is that this is not applicable to all the girls, probably not even most girls. But, perhaps I'm kidding myself. I don't know. And neither does the author, who made no attempt to get an unbiased sample.
- The author really struggles with her own PC beliefs versus her instinctive maternal urge, and comes off as really conflicted and unsure. She doesn't want to say that girls shouldn't dress provocatively nor does she want to say girls shouldn't get blackout drunk at frat parties--because obviously it is not PC to say that and it implies that girls can't do what they want. But clearly she wants to say exactly that, and she waffles.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I chose this book based on an interview with the author on "Fresh Air" with Terry Gross. I was disappointed that the girls who were interviewed were all middle-class and... Read morePublished 2 days ago by Zootie
This book is a must read for any mother with teenage daughter, or really any parent with a child. It should also be required reading for any incoming freshman to a college or... Read morePublished 4 days ago by Amazon Customer
This is a great book for parents of girls. But more important, it should be a wake up call for parents of boys. Read morePublished 5 days ago by Claude Villar
Another great, well-written book of immense value, helping me and my girlfriend / mother of an 11-year-old daughter, prepare for the future. Read morePublished 5 days ago by Aotearoa_Kiwi
Necessary reading for parents of teens, both boys and girls. After interviews with 70+ teens from around the country, the only conclusion to draw is that we are failing our kids. Read morePublished 6 days ago by Sandy Lynn