Journalist and free-speech activist Levine (My Enemy, My Love: Women, Men, and the Dilemmas of Gender) here argues that trying to protect young people from sex can actually exacerbate or even create the much-feared sexual danger. Her well-documented horror stories of zealotry and incompetence are chilling; Levine is particularly good at showing that abstinence-based sex education leaves many teens without the information they need to make intelligent choices. Misrepresentations of fact, unfounded assumptions, the runaway media hype offered by so-called experts, conservative agendas, and simple conformity, she writes, largely determine our approaches to censorship, "the pedophile panic," youthful sexual behavior, sex education, abortion, and the suppression of information about sexual pleasure. These factors, she holds, predispose young people to have bad sex with unwanted outcomes. Instead of overreaction and overprotection, adults need to saturate their children's world with accurate, realistic information and images of love and sex, including sexual pleasure. Her book, which provoked considerable controversy even before its publication, provides no easy answers to a complex question but is highly recommended as a wake-up call. Martha Cornog, Philadelphia
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.