For Goodness Sex: Changing the Way We Talk to Teens About Sexuality, Values, and Health

Al Vernacchio. Harper Wave, $25.99 (256p) ISBN 978-0-06-226951-5
A high school sexuality educator and English teacher at Friends’ Central School in Wynnewood, Pa., Vernacchio has been featured in a 2011 New York Times Magazine cover story. Based on his Psychology Today blog, this account of his frank, outspoken approach to sex education strays far from the stilted warnings of yesteryear. Vernacchio suggests trashing the old baseball model (first base, scoring) with the stereotype of boy as aggressor and girl as defender, and replacing it with a “pizza model,” in which kids learn to approach sexual relationships with respect for each partner’s (or “sweetheart’s”) decisions, boundaries, and desires. Taking parents through the topics he covers in class (such as values, love and relationships, body image, gender myths, sexual orientation, sex and technology) Vernacchio explains how to foster honest communication and explore the subject of sex as a “necessary and normal” part of teen life. Discussing sex with teens, the author points out, is not about being a sex expert but, rather, about establishing a dialogue. Vernacchio’s no-blame, no-shame approach will inspire parents to drop their fears, judgments, and inhibitions in order to help their kids navigate the teen years. Agent: Scott Waxman, Waxman Leavell Literary Agency. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/21/2014
Release date: 09/01/2014
Ebook - 272 pages - 978-0-06-226953-9
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-0-06-226952-2
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