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Laid: Young People's Experiences with Sex in an Easy-Access Culture Paperback – September 14, 2009
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Canadian journalist and youth activist Shannon T. Boodram does an amazing job of telling the story of youth and sexuality in North America today, with comments, essays, poems and letters from 40 young North Americans - and with deeply personal and insightful posts drawing from her own personal experiences.
Ms Boodram and her collaborators explain how the intimate lives of today's young adults are affected (in many ways, for the worse) by the rise of modern social media and the omnipresence of online porn (a phenomenon Ms Booderam summarizes as the "Easy Access Culture").
The book is divided into 5 thematic chapters, dealing with hookups, positive sexual experiences, sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy, rape and choosing when to be (and, more importantly, when NOT to be) sexually active. There are brief explanatory notes before each chapter, and discussions and questions to be answered by the reader at the end.
The contributors - including Ms Boodram herself - are amazingly honest in their descriptions of their experiences. Ms Boodram says she told them to write as if they were sending a message to their best friend, and the contributors more than live up to her request.
Above all, I would definitely like to note Ms Boodram's personal courage in sharing her own story, in all it's details - that personal touch, and that willingness to open her heart to her readers, is the highest point in the book.
The section on sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy is not only very sincere and heartfelt it's also remarkably informative (I actually learned things I never knew about STIs from that section!)
Speaking as a former vocational educator and youth services worker, I would highly recommend that every school district and youth program in the USA and Canada adopt Ms Boodram's work for classroom use - I'm quite sure the students would see their own stories reflected in it's pages, and they would know they are not alone in their struggles with dealing with sexuality.
Not only should every young person in the US and Canada read this work, I would also urge that anyone who is the parent, guardian or otherwise in the life of a teenager should definitely read this book, as should anyone who works with the young adult population.
This is an excellent work, and I would highly recommend it.
So LAID was the perfect book for me. It was interesting to read the different circumstances under which people lose their virginity. Some are funny, some are sad, and some are painful to read. I identified with some writers and with others I couldnt. I thought that the book did a good job of providing a broad range of different first sexual experiences as well as leave room for discussion for topics such as rape, alcohol and sex, etc
I think this book is perfect for young teens to read. It gives an honest view of sex and raises some very interesting questions and topics that should be talked about but rarely are.
Whether you have a child just reaching 'that age' or you want to further educate yourself. Do yourself a favor and read this. I can't recommend it more.