FOR GOODNESS SEX by Al Vernacchio


Changing the Way We Talk to Teens About Sexuality, Values, and Health
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Straightforward advice on how to talk to teens about sex.

High school sexuality educator Vernacchio opens the door to his classroom and invites readers in for a closer look at the often awkward subject of teaching sex education to teens. Teens today receive many levels of information on the complex world of love, relationships and physical closeness via the Internet, all forms of media and their peers. However, that information is often incomplete or stresses abstinence only and doesn't help foster a well-rounded, healthy approach to sexuality. With frankness and earnestness, Vernacchio breaks down barriers and gives parents, educators and teens comprehensive, practical advice on all aspects of sex. He discusses the concept of using baseball as a metaphor for sexual activity, noting how this creates a skewed image—in part due to the gender assumptions it makes: "It sets up the idea that sex is a game and that there are opposing teams…it's competitive. We’re not playing on the same team; we’re playing against each other—so someone wins, and someone loses." Instead, he tells his students to envision a new model for sexual activity based on the act of sharing a pizza, which encourages discussion, negotiation and is mutually satisfying to both parties involved. Vernacchio includes thorough analysis of gender identity, sexual orientation, body images, and the use of technology to communicate sexual ideas and desires. Included in each chapter are real questions posed by real students, with Vernacchio's direct and honest responses, which offer more advice and encourage further discussion on the topic. By the time Vernacchio's students finish his sexuality and society class, they are "confident, open, and more secure in themselves, and they know their values." Readers will feel the same way after finishing this book.

An engaging, much-needed new approach to teaching children about the human sexual experience.

Pub Date: Sept. 9th, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-06-226951-5
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Harper Wave/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2014


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