Book Review:Sex and your teenager: a parent’s guide

Book Review - Sex & Your Teenager

Sex and your teenager: a parent’s guide
John Coleman
Published by Wiley
£9.99; ISBN: 0471485624


This book will be of much benefit to parents who are concerned about their teenagers and interested in how to address sensitive issues with them. It is written in an informal but clear manner and each chapter ends with useful web sites and literature for further information, writes Alison Davis.

The first few chapters concentrate on puberty and sexual development, which is more relevant to parents of younger children. The author does make some interesting points about sex education in schools and how the quality of this varies. It would be useful for parents to find out what is on offer at their children’s school when tackling the subject of sex with their child.

The book goes on to discuss first relationships and the impact of teenage sexuality on the family. These chapters offer anecdotal evidence as well as factual advice for parents.

The author makes very valid points about teenagers and risk taking, particularly regarding lack of contraception and also gives essential messages for parents to be there for their child, no matter what. This is highlighted in the chapter on sexual orientation, a subject that is often overlooked, particularly in sex education and the author handles the topic sensitively.

The final chapters discuss sex and the law and the role of parents. He explores dilemmas such as allowing your child to have sex under your roof and also highlights that parents’ sexual relationships may have an affect on adolescents, not just the other way round!

Alison Davis is a sexual health outreach worker at Lewisham primary care trust

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