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Using case studies and statistics, provides an overview of the perils of sexual intercourse before marriage, including information on abstinence, contraception, sexually transmitted diseases, and unplanned pregnancies.
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Grade 7 Up–A warmly realistic approach invites readers to consider the varied facets of safe sex. The authors encourage abstinence as the only truly safe sex, but caution that often sex just happens in the heat of the moment to those who are not prepared with contraceptives. Their thorough discussions of STDs, contraceptives, the physiology of sexual intercourse, and the risks of different types of sexual activity are well balanced and accessible. The first chapter, How Do You Decide If You Are Ready for Sex?, is especially thoughtful in its examination of the pressure teens face, questions they should ask themselves about their readiness, and ways to say no. The description of sexual activities, such as oral sex, is explicit, and euphemisms like hooking up are clearly explained, while questions like Does Abstinence Include Oral and Anal Sex? are considered. Personal stories and scenarios appear throughout the text; presumably they are fictional, since no mention is made of gathering them from interviews, but they are realistic and balance out the book's statistics and scientific information. One chapter tells of teens who found themselves in serious trouble because they were afraid to seek help from their parents or other adults. Two tables are devoted to information on STDs and methods of contraception. Faith Hickman Brynie's 101 Questions about Sex and Sexuality: With Answers for the Curious, Cautious, and Confused (21st Century Bks, 2003) offers similar content in an appealing question-and-answer format.–Joyce Adams Burner, Hillcrest Library, Prairie Village, KS
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Gr. 8-11. A title in the Teen Overviews series, this thoughtfully written, well-organized introduction to safe-sex issues will make an excellent addition to any public or school library collection. Cowritten by a child psychiatrist and a former teacher, the book offers an honest, straightforward, nonjudgmental discussion on the steps sexually active teens should take to prevent pregnancy and protect themselves from disease, including abstinence and different kinds of contraception. The authors present good advice to teens on things to consider before becoming sexually active, and, in a separate chapter, explain the physiology of sex organs. Appendixes include a glossary, suggested resources, and source notes. An effective, useful guide that many young adults will need and want. Ed Sullivan
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