Book review: Girls and sex: Navigating the complicated new landscape by Peggy Orenstein

Peggy Orenstein does justice to adolescents everywhere with this book by examining the realities of sexual education in current times and their impact on young girls and women. The book describes a series of interviews she made to several young women about their sexual education and experiences, and examines how the American culture has dealt with the issue of sex education and protecting our girls in the last few decades. Although mostly anecdotal, this book does a good job at providing a peek into the world through a young women and girl’s eyes about sex and the opportunity for parents to open the door to conversations that although may be difficult and unpleasant could greatly and positively influence the next generations. 

As a mom and an aunt I found this book is a good read for parents to get glimpse at what the new generation may experience, may be exposed to, how even politics and social issues have impacted the world our kids are growing up into and to remember the importance of staying educated on current issues to better help our kids. It is time to think about them and their reality and start prioritizing them over our own ideologies. To prioritize them over cultural and religious prejudice, to protect them.

There were a couple of particularly interesting sections in the book like the impact of the Bill Clinton and Monica Lebwinsky scandal in the generations after the incident (yes, it impacted how teens define sex, check it out) and about the very  important consent conversation we parents need to have with our kids, specially boys. Also, the history behind the government program to promote “Abstinence” which by the way, was most greatly sponsored by Bill Clinton. The irony is not lost here. 

Good book overall and I think a very inspiring writer who was brave enough to tackle such a difficult and uncomfortable topic for most people. For those of you who may be too busy but are still interested in educating yourselves for the benefit of the next gerenations she has a few TED talks available in YouTube, worth the watch, that can provide insight on some of these topics she explains in her book. 


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