Venus in Blue Jeans

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9780440508809: Venus in Blue Jeans
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A landmark book offers a new dialogue for the next generation of mothers and daughters.

"Who knows what is going to happen when the hormones kick in at age sixteen and she falls madly in love?" says one mother about her daughter. Statistically, the answer is alarming: 65 percent of eighteen-year-old girls have had sex. Four of every ten sexually active girls get pregnant, most of them unintentionally.

Now more than ever, talking about sex is an essential rite of passage for both mothers and daughters. And in this groundbreaking book, Nathalie Bartle shows mothers how to help guide their daughters safely through the fears, intimacies, and sexual choices of adolescence. Combining stories of raising her own daughter with the voices of other families, Bartle tells us what today's young women urgently want to know--and what mothers need to tell them. Practical strategies and real-life examples help both parent and teen get the conversation right--encouraging trust, correcting misinformation, and emphasizing the importance of relationships and values. She covers:

When is the right time to begin talking to girls about sex?
How can you get your daughter to listen?
How can you get past the mutual embarrassment?
What six strategies have other mothers found effective?
How can you play a role in your daughter's sexual education--without encouraging her to be sexually active?

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Review:

In an era when 50 percent of all teenage girls have sex by the age of 19, discourse about teenage female sexuality remains remarkably sparse. With the important and fascinating Venus in Blue Jeans, Nathalie Bartle and Susan Lieberman turn up the volume on this hushed discussion by chronicling the way mothers and their teenage daughters communicate about sex.

Bartle conducted comprehensive interviews with 23 pairs of adolescent girls and their mothers. The girls, some from an inner-city public school and some from a more affluent private school, vary widely in their economic, ethnic, and social backgrounds, and in their interest and participation in sexual activity. The mothers, though demographically distinct, share a strong concern--and confusion--about the best way to talk with their daughters about sex and the accompanying risks of pregnancy and disease. The portraits are vividly drawn and the conclusions are vital. Bartle and Lieberman stress that vague discussions about the birds and the bees are not enough, and offer many tactics to help girls grow up with a confident, secure sense of their own sexuality. The authors urge mothers to encourage abstinence-based education rather than abstinence-only education in order to teach their daughters to think of their sexuality and sexual desire as a natural part of womanhood, and to follow their daughters' lead while maintaining an ongoing dialogue about sex. The compassionate advice and practical strategies Venus in Blue Jeans sets forth will help mothers of adolescent girls sort through their own discomfort and reluctance surrounding this issue and support them in the effort to see their girls safely to womanhood. --Ericka Lutz

From the Back Cover:

"All parents will benefit from the practical advice and insights of this book."
--Julius Richmond, M.D., former U.S. surgeon general

"Honest and forthright--deftly illuminates the fears, dreams, goals, frequent misconceptions and daily concerns--of female adolescence in the 1990s."
--Publishers Weekly

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Nathalie Bartle, Susan Lieberman
Published by Dell (1999)
ISBN 10: 0440508800 ISBN 13: 9780440508809
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Bartle, Nathalie, Lieberman, Susan
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