Peggy Orenstein’s “Girls & Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape” ($26.99, Harper) sure made me queasy. It’s hard for parents of girls (and boys, too) to think about what they might be doing with their private parts.
Yet, this book is a necessary wake up call to what our daughters are exposed to and experience out there. And what our boys might be experiencing as well as the objects of their affection as well as their potential abusers. So, let’s get our heads out of the sand and start reading.
Orenstein gives us these facts:
On porn: More than 40 percent of children ages 10 to 17 have been exposed to porn online.
On the rise of oral sex: “Nearly every girl I spoke with had at least one experience with a boy who had tried, despite her clear refusal, to coerce or force her into oral sex: verbally, via repeated texts, or by physically planting his hands on her shoulders and pushing downward.”
On losing their virginity: “Nearly two-thirds of teenagers have intercourse at least once before college — the average age of virginity loss in this country, as I’ve said is 17 — and while most do so with a romantic partner, a sizable number of girls cash in what they call their V card with a friend or a guy they’ve only just met. Over half … were drunk for the occasion. Most say they regret their experience ans wish they’d waited.”
On sexual assault in college: A third of female undergraduates who responded to a 2015 survey had been victims of nonconsensual sexual contact.