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Girls & Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape Paperback – March 7, 2017
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“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)
From the Back Cover
A generation gap has emerged between parents and their girls. The mothers and fathers of tomorrow’s women have little idea what their daughters are up to sexually or how they feel about it. Drawing on in-depth interviews with more than seventy young women and a wide range of psychologists, academics, and experts, renowned journalist Peggy Orenstein goes where most others fear to tread, pulling back the curtain on the hidden truths, hard lessons, and important possibilities of girls’ sex lives in the modern world.
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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.
In addition to exploring the real issues that face our teens and young adults, Orenstein offers example of meaningful alternatives to the post sixties style of parenting. She examines parenting styles in Norway, where in addition to open discussions about the mechanics of sex, parents are providing real guidance to achieving a healthy and mature approach to the emotional aspects of sexuality.
In our effort to be good parents, we are standing side by side with our kids on education, and in all of the arenas that help them to maximize their potential. Unfortunately, we sometimes abandon them at the door of their burgeoning sexuality as they head off to college. We tacitly approve of pre-marital sex, and provide education on birth control in hopes that they will evolve into mature adults who enjoy sex. Orenstein is helping us to understand that just as we drove them to soccer and dance lessons, they need coaching and guidance to move from puberty to emotionally fulfilled sexual beings. The process to achieve maturity with regards to sexuality needs to be discussed openly, and with the same dedication we provided to college applications and prom dresses.