Book Review: Girls Uncovered
In an earlier post, I talked extensively about Teen Mom and Abstinence Argument, in which I discussed several factors why birth control isn’t the best idea for the heart and soul for teens who bear the brunt of emotional scarring which no form of birth control can stop.
In the following review is from a book “Girls Uncovered” which is a great book by Joe S. McIlhaney, Jr and Freda McKissic Bush discussing how culture, media leave girls uncovered in the wake of a sexual onslaught that completely ignores biological facts about these girls that cause a greater amount of victimization through sexual exploitation than their male counterparts.
This book starts by highlighting the importance of parents int the rearing of their daughters. They bring up interesting facts about previous societies that worked extra hard to prevent and delay teen girls entrance into the sexual sphere and protecting their purity in juxtaposition to our society that thrusts sexuality on pre-teens in all aspects of culture, from clothes, to media to toys they play with and so on.
In the early sections they point to the adolescent brain and how the prefrontal cortex, which is the core of foresight and anticipating consequences of actions. Adolescent brains are more reliant on social cues to glean their values and how they should behave in society.
They continue with a brief yet in-depth discussion of the STI’s (which contraceptive methods don’t do as well as advertised) and follows up with a discussion of teen pregnancy and how it’s glamorization of teen pregnancy and the minimization of teen pregnancy causes great harm to teen girls.
They do a great job at explaining with play-by-play action how hormones effect brain and behavior which makes resisting sexual temptation extremely difficult if not impossible once physical barriers (including hugging) have begun.
How Society Misleads Girls
The authors do an excellent job at demonstrating three major lies that society sells to girls including: Boys and Girls are the same; that girls are supposed to be “Supergirl” and perfect in every way at all times; and that Cohabitation is the best things for a girl to do.
What Parents and their Girls are to do…
McIlhaney and Bush continue in discussing how Parents and their Daughters can fight against this epidemic. They indicate research that shows that parents are around when their kids wake up, get home from school, during supper and at bedtime. They discuss many facts contrary to what society sells which demonstrate that Society sends one strong message and has many assumptions while in reality families and teen girls do not agree with what is being given to them.
A Word on Research
I’ve studied the research behind many of the statements made in this book, being trained and educated as a Masters level Social Worker, I’ve been trained in statistics and research methods and found all the research they chose to be of high caliber. Some of the sources relied on statistics that are taken annually at schools giving them great longitudinal accuracy and trending data.
There are many revered if not well respected journals that this book relies on that espouse peer-reviewed research including
- Journal of Marriage and Family
- Journal of Adolescent Health
- Journal of Family Issues
- Journal of Adolescent Research
- Journal of the American Medical Association
One great article to read is the Report of the APA Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls.
I would highly recommend this read for parents to arm themselves with the knowledge needed to combat society’s miscues given to their daughters. I might even recommend teen girls read this book to help them see what they are up against. I loved the theme of “Sex is Sexist” which is completely true.