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Not My Kid: What Parents Believe about the Sex Lives of Their Teenagers [Paperback]

Sinikka Elliot

Price: CDN$ 24.74 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Book Description

Aug. 13 2012
Teenagers have sex. While almost all parents understand that many teenagers are sexually active, there is a paradox in many parents' thinking: they insist their own teen children are not sexual, but characterize their children's peers as sexually-driven and hypersexual. Rather than accuse parents of being in denial, Sinikka Elliott teases out the complex dynamics behind this thinking, demonstrating that it is rooted in fears and anxieties about being a good parent, the risks of teen sexual activity, and teenagers' future economic and social status. Parents--like most Americans--equate teen sexuality with heartache, disease, pregnancy, promiscuity, and deviance and want their teen children to be protected from these things. Going beyond the hype and controversy, Elliott examines how a diverse group of American parents of teenagers understand teen sexuality, showing that, in contrast to the idea that parents are polarized in their beliefs, parents are confused, anxious, and ambivalent about teen sexual activity and how best to guide their own children's sexuality. Framed with an eye to the debates about teenage abstinence and sex education in school, Elliott also links parents' understandings to the contradictory messages and broad moral panic around child and teen sexuality. Ultimately, Elliott considers the social and cultural conditions that might make it easier for parents to talk with their teens about sex, calling for new ways of thinking and talking about teen sexuality that promote social justice and empower parents to embrace their children as fully sexual subjects.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: New York Univ Pr (Aug. 13 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814722598
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814722596
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.4 x 2.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #723,469 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"Not My Kid is an engaging and incisive contribution to contemporary debates over youth and sexuality education. As Elliott debunks prevailing myths about parents, kids, and 'the talk' about sex, a new picture emerges in which parents navigate and contribute to a broad social context characterized by ambivalence, anxiety, and persistent inequalities. Elliott helps readers appreciate the need for social policies that confront the culture of fear surrounding young people's sexuality and bolster parents' efforts to support their children's development as sexual beings."-Jessica Fields, author of "Risky Lessons: Sex Education and Social Inequality"

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book! June 27 2013
By Joslyn J Brenton - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Sinikka Elliott provides wonderful insight into how parents think about their kids' sex lives. This book benefits academics and parents alike. A must read!
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Teenagers and sex Jan. 1 2013
By Wabbit98 - Published on
Sex education has been a divisive topic in schools ever since it was first introduced. Originally introduced to help new immigrants become more American and learn things the proper way; instead it has become a battleground between two different groups. Those that are considered more liberal, who believe in educating teenagers in sex; and the more conservative side that endorses an abstinence until marriage ideal. In this book Sinikka Elliott goes a different route than most books, she does not look at teenagers themselves; but instead takes a look at the parents of teenagers, how they view sex, sex education, and their children as sexual beings. What she finds is that parents can be at times ambivalent, demanding, and strangely contradictory. That they do not believe their children could be interested in sex, but knowing it will probably happen. Many people are happy at times that school takes the burden off of talking about sex education amongst their peers.

Not perfect this book is another entry in the long debate about sex in America. This book might not change minds of many people; it is highly informative and extremely important to read. It brings a mirror to our society, an image that we need to closely examine and see if we like what we see.

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