Teenage Sex and Pregnancy: Modern Myths, Unsexy Realities

By Brick, Peggy | Contemporary Sexuality, June 2011 | Go to article overview

Teenage Sex and Pregnancy: Modern Myths, Unsexy Realities


Brick, Peggy, Contemporary Sexuality


Teenage Sex and Pregnancy: Modern Myths, Unsexy Realities By Mike A. Males. Praeger, 2010. $44.95.

Twelve years ago, I retired from the complex business of teenage sex and pregnancy in favor of the less political promotion of sexual health and happiness for people over age 50. But I couldnâeuro(TM)t resist the opportunity to examine what Mike Males, that indefatigable challenger of popular myths about adolescents, is telling us in his most recent book. Males may be best known for revealing the fact that the majority of âeurooeteen pregnanciesâeuro? are fathered by adult men, (âeurooeThe Scapegoat Generation: Americaâeuro(TM)s War on Adolescentsâeuro?), exposing the fallacy of educators targeting teen relationships and leading us at Planned Parenthood of Greater Northern New Jersey (PPGNNJ) to create a teaching manual âeurooeUnequal Partners: Teaching about Power and Consent in Adult-Teen and Other Relationships.âeuro? While Males acknowledges the response of this Planned Parenthood affiliate, he doesnâeuro(TM)t reveal that the manual, now in its third edition, has sold over 5,000 copies and PPGNNJ educators have facilitated workshops in over 100 cities nationwide. In fact, many educators heard him.

In his recent book, Males, a senior researcher for YouthFacts.org and the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, continues his passionate defense of adolescent behaviors as simply reflective of the behaviors of the nationâeuro(TM)s adults. He begins by putting attitudes toward teen girls in historical perspective: Presidential dalliances, early consent laws, youthful prostitution and the illusion promoted by many prominent writers suggesting âeurooethe past was a paradise of innocent teenhood and the present a sinkhole of promiscuity, sexual pathology and disease."

Males carefully dissects a number of popular teen-fearing works, âeurooepanics du jour,âeuro? declaring them as âeurooethe worst anti-scholarship I have seen, infested with virulent prejudices, scant and warped evidence, and disturbing irrationality.âeuro? He provides persuasive evidence that âeurooethe dominant discussions of teenage sexuality and youth issues from far Right to far Left, from journalist to PhD, from sex education advocate to abstinence devotee, reflect what I term [the] âeuro? …

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