GIRLS AND SEX by Peggy Orenstein

GIRLS AND SEX

Navigating the Complicated New Landscape
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KIRKUS REVIEW

An examination of the newest trends in the sex lives of young women in America.

After interviewing dozens of young women between the ages of 15 and 20, as well as educators, sociologists, psychologists, and other experts, New York Times Magazine contributing writer Orenstein (Cinderella Ate My Daughter, 2011, etc.) has compiled an eye-opening study of the way that girls and women in America think, feel, and act regarding sex. With a daughter of her own soon entering this new phase of her life, the author sought to understand the current culture, "at a time when celebrities presented self-objectification as a source of strength, power, independence; when looking desirable seemed a substitute for feeling desire; when 50 Shades of Grey…was being hailed as the ultimate feminine fantasy; when no woman under the age of forty appeared to have pubic hair." What she discovered was both intriguing and highly disturbing. With interviews that lasted for hours, the girls discussed the fine line they walk between dressing to look “hot” and then being called a slut if they engage in too many sexual acts. They were frank about the often unspoken expectations of boys to receive fellatio with no sense of reciprocity and how the act has become so common that most girls don't even consider it sex. Ready access to pornography via the Internet has raised boys' expectations of how girls will react when engaged in intercourse. The girls speak explicitly and honestly about their hookups and the pressures they feel during these casual encounters and the disturbing number of drunken "date rape" incidents. Orenstein also delves into the sexual subculture surrounding fraternities and sororities, which continues the ongoing discussion regarding consent and the meanings of “yes” and “no.” Though the author doesn’t offer many solutions, the abundant information she provides will give parents and young girls the power to make informed decisions regarding sex.

Ample, valuable information on the way young women in America perceive and react to their sexual environment.

Pub Date: March 29th, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-06-220972-6
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 2016




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