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Epidemic: How Teen Sex is Killing Our Kids Hardcover – October 25, 2002

3.8 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this fact-filled but overheated report, pediatrician Meeker cites medical studies and her own clinical experience to argue that adolescent promiscuity has led to skyrocketing rates of sexually transmitted disease and increased depression and suicide among the young. Spicing up her statistics with obscene rap lyrics and lurid reports of teen orgies and the high school "craze" for oral sex, she blames the usual suspects: post-60s permissiveness, the misguided equating of condoms with safety and sexualized media imagery in, for example, Cosmopolitan and Ally McBeal. In opposition to a "conspiracy" of sex-ed "bureaucrats" to "maintain sexual freedoms rather than prevent disease," Meeker advocates teaching teens to "postpone sex as long as possible" and, when they don't, to reflower themselves as "secondary virgins." In the end her advice to parents boils down to the age-old injunction to talk to their kids, with tips ("ask how he felt when he saw sex in a television show") that make this awkward task not much easier. On the other hand, forcing teenagers to read her unsparing and truly alarming descriptions of the ravages of venereal disease should kill their mood for quite a while.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From the Back Cover

AT THIS VERY MOMENT AN EPIDEMIC is invading our teenage kids. The epidemic is the tidal wave of sexually transmitted diseases that, in some cases, have increased more than 500% in recent years. Right now, one out of every four sexually active teens is living with an STD!

Dr. Meg Meeker has lived on the front lines of this epidemic for more than twenty years. As a pediatrician specializing in adolescent medicine, Meeker now sees STDs affect one-third of her patients. In this groundbreaking book, she examines the threat of these diseases and the causes for their widespread advance among our teens.

But there is hope: in the middle of a battlefield surrounded by disease, depression (the newest STD), injury, and death, we must arm our kids with knowledge so they can make the right choices. Victory won't come from wearing condoms or "exploring" sexual freedom, but from wisdom, maturity, and self-control.

In this must-read book, Dr. Meg Meeker shows us how we can connect with our kids to help save them from this epidemic. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: LifeLine Press (October 25, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 089526143X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0895261434
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,140,970 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Reading the reviews was interesting to say the least. Whether you are a parent or a teen, right or left you cannot fight against the facts. And what are the facts? As a health teacher for the last 24 years in a public high school in New York I can safely say that the information Mrs Meeker gives is in fact irrefutable. She is correct when she tells the reader that there is no such thing as "safe sex" unless it is with an uninfected partner and you remain monogamous for life "historically we called that relationship marriage". She is also correct when she tells us that condoms are next to worthless when it comes to STD's like HPV the number one STD in America that kill thousands of women every year in America not counting the thousands of early hysterectomys. It seems that the negative reviews come from people who do not want to be confused with the facts but simply want to call Mrs Meeker "names". Hurray for a refreshingly honest look at a difficult subject. She tells the reader how it is.
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Format: Hardcover
Epidemic may not be too strong of a word to describe the crisis in teen sexuality we face in the Western world. Although this volume describes the American scene, it would be true of most other Western nations as well. Young people have been sold a bill of goods regarding sexuality, and they are paying the penalty, big time.

Consider some of the statistics: In the US in 2002 up to one quarter of sexually active teens were living with a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Each year over 15 million Americans will contract a new STD. Around a fifth of these will be teenagers. Indeed, while teens make up just 10 percent of the population, they account for 25 per cent of all STDs.

The truth is, the sexual revolution of the 60s has unleashed an untamed monster. When I was growing up one seldom heard of venereal diseases, as they were then called. And there were really only two: syphilis and gonorrhoea. And they tended to be something people other than sailors and prostitutes never worried about. Today there are at least 50 STDs. And with multiple strains of mutating viruses, that actual number may be as high as 100.

Thus a whole new batch of STDs have emerged in line with the no-holds-barred sexual revolution. Chlamydia for example was not even identified until 1976. Thus we have a whole new vocabulary as part of our dictionaries, with disease like genital herpes, HPV, HIV, and a range of new viral infections.

And the problem is many of these diseases are at present incurable (like HIV) and many are asymptomatic (that is one often does not even know one has the infection). And many are quite infectious, easily spread, and hard to control. Herpes for example lives on the skin and is easily passed on.
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Format: Hardcover
Dr. Meeker has written a very informative yet alarming book on the realities of teens having sex even with multiple partners. She uses real life stories to exemplify her primary point that teens who choose to have sex and most likely with multiple partners will contract at least one STD. Dr. Meeker titles her book "Epidemic..." because teens all across the United States are contracting STD's at an alarming rate. Dr. Meeker states, "An epidemic occurs when...there is an extensive and growing prevalence of a disease that attacks many people simultaneously." Dr. Meeker's book is chalked full of current statistics and well documented endnotes that gives reliable and necessary support of her claim that there is an epidemic among teens.
Furthermore, this book is not solely about STDs but about the greater issue of sexual freedom. Dr. Meeker claims, and I agree with, that the primary problem among our teens is that they are taught that it is reasonable to pursue sex in any and all forms which include intercourse, oral, anal, and mutual masturbation. And the means by which teens are 'taught' about sex and its acceptance especially at such an early age, is through the media, advertisements of all sorts, music lyrics and videos, movies, television sitcoms, as well as the 'modeled' behavior of ones parents or guardians. Since morality and personal ethics regarding the value of sex have dropped to a level of cheapness in our country, it is little wonder why teens experiment and engage in various sexual acts, and in turn contract STDs.
This book is written from a conservative perspective in which sexual freedom among teens should not endorsed but inappropriate for them to embrace.
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By A Customer on March 25, 2004
Format: Hardcover
As a teacher who works with both junior and senior high aged kids, I have longed for a book that tells the hard truth about teenaged sex. Finally, I have found it. This isn't just a book for parents, this is a book that kids should at least be exposed to. They deserve the truth that we have failed to give them. For too long we believed we were protecting them by giving them birth control and they believed us (as an establishment). Now we are just beginning to glimpse the true scope of the problem that will face us over the next 5-20 years and beyond if this situation isn't addressed and reversed. I encourage parents and teachers who want facts that will stand up and speak for themselves without being preachy - get this book. Read it. Pass it on to your friends, talk about it with your kids and your students, carry it with you on the subway.
Are the numbers harsh, do the stories turn your stomach? Yes, this book is not a 'fun' read. And good for Meg Meeker.
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