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Girls & Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape Hardcover – March 29, 2016
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An Amazon Best Book of April 2016: It would be easy to pigeonhole Girls & Sex as essential reading only for parents of female teens or preteens. But as I traveled deeper into Orenstein’s honest and thoughtful exploration of “the complicated new landscape” of sex as seen from the points of view of seventy high school and college-age girls she interviewed, I realized this book is for anyone who cares for a girl approaching womanhood, whether she is a daughter, niece, granddaughter, or friend of the family. Orenstein is the perfect guide, empathetic with the girls she interviews while also calling out how views on being “hot,” consensual sex, drinking, and the very definition of virginity and intercourse has changed in the past ten or twenty years. She’s so direct, the reader can’t help but face how dramatically the landscape has shifted. (I admit to being horrified at the latest definition of “second base.” But better to be wide-eyed than blind.) It’s a tribute to Orenstein’s perceptive investigations and her ability to make you question your own long-held beliefs about young people and sex that as I turned the last page, I felt an intense desire to read a Boys & Sex edition so that our young men could be given the clear voice that Orenstein has given young women. —Adrian Liang
“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)
“Nonsensational but deeply entertaining…. A must-read.” (People, Book of the Week)
“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)
“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)
“Thought-provoking. . .Girls & Sex is full of thoughtful concern and empathetic questions.” (Cindi Leive, New York Times Book Review, cover review)
“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.” (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)
“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)
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A lot of girls are simply swearing off sex. University surveys known to me have revealed figures in the range of 20 minutes a day for "romantic activities." (Versus 7 to 8 hours for classes and studies.) So it seems like the alternative to partying is nothing, or nearly nothing. I hope this is wrong....
We as a society really have to go against the pop trash, whether it's porn, gangsta rap, other pop music, or the other horrors these days, and get the message to the kids (boys as well as girls) that sex is about love and relationships, AND can be a lot of fun, but it can't be done by conformity, least of all with porn--it has to be developed as an art in itself.
Let's face it, I remember the time before the internet and every time I go to the supermarket I see tabloid news reports of girls and what they get caught posting online. THANK GOD I NEVER HAD TO DEAL WITH THAT! However my 10 year old will. I picked up this book to gain insight on how I can successfully guide my daughter through helping her make good decisions about what to post on the internet or send through text message, Instagram, snapchat all of that.
This is a great read. Anyone with daughters should read it and be prepared for some shocks. This is good! Better to be living in the reality of what kids are getting up to these days than stay behind the rock and pretend it's not happening.