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Prude: How the Sex-Obsessed Culture Damages Girls (and America, Too!) Hardcover – November 2, 2007


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Center Street; First Edition edition (November 2, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1599956837
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599956831
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.2 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #905,263 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Carol Platt Liebau is a political analyst and commentator based near Los Angeles, California. She is a 1989 graduate of Princeton University, where she served as editorial chairman of The Daily Princetonian, and Harvard Law School, where she graduated in 1992 as the first female managing editor of The Harvard Law Review.

Carol has been a law clerk for Reagan appointee Judge David B. Sentelle of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, legislative assistant to Senator Christopher "Kit" Bond of Missouri, a consultant to the 1994 Senate campaign of John D. Ashcroft, and policy advisor and counsel for Tom Campbell's U.S. Senate campaign in 2000. She also practiced appellate law for four years in her hometown of St. Louis. You can visit her on the Web at www.carolliebau.blogspot.com.

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Customer Reviews

So with all that, reading this book was a relief for me.
C. christine
The problem is that the book makes the reader feel downright creepy, with the detailed descriptions of dirty teen books and orgy explosions in small towns.
Amy Senk
The focus of remedy for our oversexed culture cannot be focused simply on girls and women, and their sexual power (or lack thereof).
Nicole Marshall

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

113 of 119 people found the following review helpful By John Peterson on November 3, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Liebau's book is for anyone who cares about what is going on in American culture -- parent or not. It is extremely well-written, well-researched, and filled with important information about how American culture is shaping the lives of young women in the modern age. The book's premise -- that our culture's oversexualization has caused young women to believe that sexiness trumps intelligence and character -- may not seem at first to be a revolutionary one. But I suspect that most people over the age of 18 will be astonished to read this book's detailed presentation of the unique challenges faced by young women today. As a parent, the book is invaluable. For anyone who cares about what is going on in American culture, it is equally important. "Prude" is a very satisfying and enlightening book. Given the topic, it is also surprisingly entertaining.
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45 of 51 people found the following review helpful By J Brown on November 20, 2007
Format: Hardcover
It's about time someone addressed the out of control teen sexual issue. As an elementary teacher I hear little girls and boys talk about sex and it break my heart. If I could afford it, I would pass out a copy of this book to every parent in my classroom. It is a must read for everyone, not just parents of young girls.
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73 of 88 people found the following review helpful By Tim Challies TOP 500 REVIEWER on December 10, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I almost gave up reading Prude. I have read other books like this and have found they follow a fairly consistent pattern. The first few chapters are always the hardest to get through. Where my interest in this kind of book is in its cultural commentary and analysis, the initial chapters seem always to be filled with examples of sexual transgression. I suppose this is necessary to build the author's case that "our sex-obsessed cultural damages girls (and America too)." And so the first half of the book tells story after story and provides example after example of the moral decline of America. The author moves through web sites, magazines, television shows, popular music and fashion, showing how in each of these areas, girls are receiving damaging messages about their bodies and about sexuality. Television shows model sexual perversion as freedom and popular music objectifies both sex and sexuality. Web sites provide lurid details of base sexuality and consider it normal while the latest fashions seek to bare bodies for all to see. We know all of this, though there is still room to be shocked and disgusted. This continues for nearly 150 pages and by the end of the seventh chapter I had just about had enough. I put the book down.

But I picked it up again after seeing advertising for this book in Christian magazines and publications. It seems clear that, though this book is not published by a Christian imprint or by a Christian author (as far as I know), it is being marketed to Christians. And for that reason I thought I would read the second part and seek to understand how the author, Carol Liebau, analyzes all of these forces--what they mean and how they are affecting American girls.

Liebau does this over about 100 pages.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Rachel Terry on December 1, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Most adults have noticed that things have changed since we were kids, but this book shows us how these changes came about and how they are damaging our kids and our culture. The "anything goes" mentality that pervades pop culture hurts kids' self-esteem and leads them down paths they will later regret. The research and writing in this book are impressive, and although much of the news is grim, it shows parents specific, direct things they can do to help their kids through the mire they're faced with every day.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Katherine Wilson on March 30, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Prude" is a great book for parents. I must say that my eyes were opened to some things I wasn't aware of, and knowledge is power, right? I would say, however, that if you have teenagers in your home, be careful about letting them read this book. It may give them new ideas of ways to be bad, or they may find the author's explicitness titillating. I did think she took some of her ideas a bit too far, but then perhaps I've just been tainted by our wicked society.
If you consider yourself "conservative" and wish our society would reign back a bit, you will probably appreciate the author's point of view. She demonstrates how our society has become overly sexualized, but also gives us hope that the pendulum may be starting to swing the other way. Overall, very beneficial, especially for parents.
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17 of 23 people found the following review helpful By G. Cochran on December 30, 2007
Format: Hardcover
In Prude, Liebau examines the oversexualization of American culture and the damaging effect of this phenomenon on young women. Replete with facts, figures, and very clear-cut examples, Liebau's analysis of cultural trends is graphic and disheartening. For nearly the first two-thirds of the book, she provides example after example of the hypersexualized messages that bombard young girls from every angle. Working her way through the Internet, books, magazines, TV, movies, music, and fashion, Liebau offers a thorough, well-researched, and very detailed account of the often very risqué sexual themes that pervade each of these media. She looks at the explicit content in young adult novels and the nearly pornographic nature of music videos, the racy headlines in women's magazines and the sexually permissive attitudes prevalent on many of teens' favorite TV shows. The effect of the popular culture's portrayal of sex, argues Liebau, is that young girls are encouraged to treat the act casually and to strive for sexiness above intelligence, honesty, even kindness. They are taught that brazen sexuality is hip, attractive, and powerful, while modesty and reserve are peculiar and passé. Liebau's candid analysis is discouraging yet eye-opening as it sheds light on the sex-saturated reality with which teens are faced on a daily basis.

For readers familiar with works such as Wendy Shalit's Girls Gone Mild, Laura Sessions Stepp's Unhooked, Miriam Grossman's Unprotected, and similar tomes dealing with the current state of sex and singlehood, Liebau's work may feel a bit repetitive, as she doesn't say a whole lot that these women have not already said before in some way or another.
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