Epidemic: How Teen Sex Is Killing Our Kids

Meg Meeker, Author Lifeline Press (CA) $24.95 (251p) ISBN 978-0-89526-143-4
In this fact-filled but overheated report, pediatrician Meeker cites medical studies and her own clinical experience to argue that adolescent promiscuity has led to skyrocketing rates of sexually transmitted disease and increased depression and suicide among the young. Spicing up her statistics with obscene rap lyrics and lurid reports of teen orgies and the high school ""craze"" for oral sex, she blames the usual suspects: post-60s permissiveness, the misguided equating of condoms with safety and sexualized media imagery in, for example, Cosmopolitan and Ally McBeal. In opposition to a ""conspiracy"" of sex-ed ""bureaucrats"" to ""maintain sexual freedoms rather than prevent disease,"" Meeker advocates teaching teens to ""postpone sex as long as possible"" and, when they don't, to reflower themselves as ""secondary virgins."" In the end her advice to parents boils down to the age-old injunction to talk to their kids, with tips (""ask how he felt when he saw sex in a television show"") that make this awkward task not much easier. On the other hand, forcing teenagers to read her unsparing and truly alarming descriptions of the ravages of venereal disease should kill their mood for quite a while.
Reviewed on: 09/01/2002
Release date: 09/01/2002
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 252 pages - 978-1-59698-513-1
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