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Start Talking: A Girl's Guide for You and Your Mom about Health, Sex, or Whatever: An Inside Look at the Details Even She Doesn't Kno


Start Talking: A Girl's Guide for You and Your Mom about Health, Sex, or Whatever: An Inside Look at the Details Even She Doesn't Kno Cover

ISBN13: 9781886298316
ISBN10: 1886298319
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A Q&A guide for mother-daughter conversations about female health and sexuality, this book targets both daughters and mothers. Start Talking contains more than 113 questions girls ask including questions about periods, sex, relationships, guys, eating, exercise, body development, along with similar questions verbalized by mothers. Each chapter contains basic information accompanied by real-life vignettes, questions and answers for moms, questions and answers for daughters, "Table Talk" suggestions for moms on how to engage each other around these topics. This book differs from books targeting just girls understanding their own bodies, and from books targeting just mothers on what they should know: it is deliberately meant to spark conversations.

About the Author

Mary Jo Rapini, M.Ed., LPC is featured on TLC’s new series, "Big Medicine". She is an intimacy and sex counselor, certified anger management therapist, and popular speaker throughout the country. A mom with two daughters, her passion is helping all girls become strong women. Janine J. Sherman, RN-C, MSN is a women’s health care nurse practitioner. Both her patients and her two daughters come to her for answers to their biggest questions about health and sexuality.

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Home School Book Review, October 31, 2011 (view all comments by Home School Book Review)
I am perhaps not the best person to review a book about health, hygiene, and sex instruction for teenage girls because first I am a guy and second I have only sons. However, it was sent to me, and I agreed to review it, so here are my thoughts. The authors cite some startling statistics which indicate how important it is for parents, and especially mothers, to talk with their daughters about these matters. “Recent studies repeatedly demonstrate that the average adolescent has sexual intercourse for the first time at 15 years of age” (p. 89). “Recent studies have indicated that 88% of people have premarital sex” (p. 118). Yet, as the Introduction points out, daughters are commonly reluctant to approach their mothers for advice due to fear of punishment or embarrassment, and mothers often hesitate to engage their daughters in health-related dialogue because they feel shy, inadequate, or poorly informed.
Thus, the authors state, “The goal of this book is to empower mothers and daughters with accurate and comprehensive knowledge so that they can have the open, relaxed, and informative conversations about sex and female health that every young woman needs and deserves” (p. 14). There are chapters on menstruation, routine health care, sexually transmitted diseases, sexuality and relationships, birth control, body image, and developing one’s passions. As I read through Start Talking, which won both a Mom’s Choice Award and a Parenting Media Award, I found that it contains a lot of very useful, practical information. However, there are a few areas where some people may strongly disagree. For example, “As parents, abstinence until marriage sounds like a great idea for our daughters. Unfortunately, as a public policy, it has not proven particularly effective” (p. 13). I have seen numerous studies and surveys with copious statistics which reach an entirely different conclusion.
In the chapter on birth control, the authors do say, “The thought of abstinence is a wonderful one; we support it” (p. 117). Yet they also say, “If your child is thinking of having sex, it is reasonable to strongly encourage abstinence, but making it the forbidden fruit will not keep her from doing it….If you feel she is having sex or about to have sex, then��"yes��"equip her to be safe. Let her know you may not agree with her decision, but she and her safety are extremely important to you” (pp. 135-137). Based on deeply held religious convictions, some parents may simply not feel comfortable with this approach. Also, in discussing abortion as a form of “birth control,” the question, “How do I decide if I should terminate a pregnancy?”, is answered, “It is the woman’s choice, since she will have to ultimately live with whatever choice is made.” Of course, it is a woman’s choice, but, again, there are those with the deeply held religious belief that it is always a wrong choice. Obviously, a family’s religious views must be taken into consideration when making these kinds of decisions. As with any other work by human beings, one may utilize those suggestions which are applicable and reject those which are deemed inappropriate. But the main conclusion of the book is still quite valid. “The best steps to prevent sex before the age of eighteen [or we might add before marriage, WSW] involve good communication between you and your daughter” (p. 112).
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Product Details

Rapini, Mary Jo
Bayou Publishing
Sherman, Janine
General Juvenile Nonfiction
Health & Daily Living - General
Girls & Women
Teenage girls
Mothers and daughters
General Health & Fitness
Children s Nonfiction-Health-General
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
9 x 6 x 0.75 in 0.88 lb
Age Level:

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Related Subjects

Children's » History » Women in History
Children's » Nonfiction » Health » General
Health and Self-Help » Child Care and Parenting » Parenting Teens

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