PARENTING

Sex, Teens, and Everything in Between: The New and Necessary Conversations Today’s Teenagers Need To Have About Consent, Sexual Harassment, Healthy Relationships, Love, and More

Sourcebooks. Sept. 2019. 336p. bibliog. ISBN 9781492680086. pap. $16.99. CHILD REARING
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In an age when porn is normalized and too often smartphones take precedence over personal relationships, parents need to be regularly part of the conversations about sex and relationships, and be ready to answer their children’s questions honestly. While “hookup” culture seems to be rampant in high schools and colleges, impersonalizing and divorcing sex from emotion, Zaloom, a leading expert on sexual consent education, cites a 2015 study from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reporting that not everyone is hooking up. In fact, 60 percent of U.S. high school students are virgins, and 85 percent of those same young people want to have sex only within a serious romantic relationship. Another statistic from the CDC shows that one in four students is sexually, or otherwise assaulted in high school, and one in five in college. All of these statistics demonstrate a need for teaching about consent. Educating others on how to treat you, and listening to how others wish to be treated are the keys to healthy relationships, writes the author. She further argues that essential to preventing sexual harassment and assault is bystander intervention, and shares ideas on sticking up for others without compromising their own reputation (an oft-shared concern of teens).
VERDICT This guide may benefit parents of teens who are looking to start a conversation about issues many young people face today, encompassing the #metoo movement, sexual harassment, assault, and many others.

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