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Boys & Sex: Young Men on Hookups, Love, Porn, Consent, and Navigating the New Masculinity
by Peggy Orenstein

Published: 2020-01-07
Hardcover : 304 pages
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The author of the groundbreaking New York Times bestsellers Girls & Sex and Cinderella Ate My Daughter now turns her focus to the sexual lives of young men, once again offering “both an examination of sexual culture and a guide on how to improve it” (Washington Post).

Peggy ...

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Introduction

The author of the groundbreaking New York Times bestsellers Girls & Sex and Cinderella Ate My Daughter now turns her focus to the sexual lives of young men, once again offering “both an examination of sexual culture and a guide on how to improve it” (Washington Post).

Peggy Orenstein’s Girls & Sex broke ground, shattered taboos, and launched conversations about young women’s right to pleasure and agency in sexual encounters. It also had an unexpected effect on its author: Orenstein realized that talking about girls is only half the conversation. Boys are subject to the same cultural forces as girls—steeped in the same distorted media images and binary stereotypes of female sexiness and toxic masculinity—which equally affect how they navigate sexual and emotional relationships. In Boys & Sex, Peggy Orenstein dives back into the lives of young people to once again give voice to the unspoken, revealing how young men understand and negotiate the new rules of physical and emotional intimacy.

Drawing on comprehensive interviews with young men, psychologists, academics, and experts in the field, Boys & Sex dissects so-called locker room talk; how the word “hilarious” robs boys of empathy; pornography as the new sex education; boys’ understanding of hookup culture and consent; and their experience as both victims and perpetrators of sexual violence. By surfacing young men’s experience in all its complexity, Orenstein is able to unravel the hidden truths, hard lessons, and important realities of young male sexuality in today’s world. The result is a provocative and paradigm-shifting work that offers a much-needed vision of how boys can truly move forward as better men.

Editorial Review

An Amazon Best Book of January 2020: In her 2016 book, Girls & Sex, Peggy Orenstein spoke with hundreds of high school and college-aged girls about their thoughts on hookups, love, body shaming, virginity, abstinence, and much, much more. Now Orenstein talks with boys from the same age group, revealing that their path through the modern sexual landscape is just as twisty and thorny, if not more so, as girls’. Consent, pornography, hookup culture, gender identity, sexual preference, and a constantly changing definition of masculinity are among the issues boys struggle with and talk with her about. Orenstein’s straight-ahead questions paired with the boys’ vulnerable answers make Boys & Sex a captivating, eye-opening read. A must for anyone who has a boy or young man whom they love in their life. —Adrian Liang, Amazon Book Review

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