Cover image for For goodness sex : changing the way we talk to teens about sexuality, values, and health
For goodness sex : changing the way we talk to teens about sexuality, values, and health
Vernacchio, Al, author.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York, NY : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2014]
Physical Description:
xiii, 254 pages ; 22 cm
"A progressive approach to sexuality education that challenges commonly-held beliefs about how we talk to young people about sex and offers a controversial yet proven alternative to the standard conversations taking place in schools and homes across America"--
General Note:
Includes index.
Introduction: Sexuality as a force for good -- Teaching healthy sex -- Creating a family philosophy of sex : what we believe, what we say, and how we say it -- Baseball, you're out! : sexual activity without the bases -- Love and relationships : becoming your authentic self -- Gender myths : helping kids step outside new and old gender stereotypes -- Sexual orientation : whom we love -- OK, so I have a body : how do I like it and what do I do with it? -- #iloveyou : teens, sex, and technology.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HQ56 .V46 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
HQ56 .V46 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
HQ56 .V46 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
HQ56 .V46 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
HQ56 .V46 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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A progressive, effective, and responsible approach to sex education for parents and teens that challenges traditional teaching models and instead embraces 21st century realities by promoting healthy sexuality, values, and body image in young people.

Sex education today generally falls into one of two categories: abstinence-only or abstinence-based education--both of which tend to withhold important, factual information and leave young adults ill-equipped to make safe decisions. Al Vernacchio, a high school sexuality educator who holds a Master's degree in Human Sexuality from the University of Pennsylvania, has created a new category: sex-positive education. In For Goodness Sex, he refutes the "disaster prevention" model of sex ed, offering a progressive and realistic approach: Sexuality is a natural part of life, and healthy sexuality can only develop from a sex-positive, affirming appreciation.

Curious yet fearful of being judged, young people turn to peers, the Internet, and the media, where they receive problematic messages about sex: boys are studs, girls are sluts; real sex should be like porn; hookups are better than relationships. Without a broader understanding to offset these damaging perceptions, teenagers are dangerously unprepared intellectually and emotionally to grow and develop as sexual beings. For Goodness Sex offers the tools and insights adults need to talk young people and help them develop healthy values and safe habits. With real-life examples from the classroom, exercises and quizzes, and a wealth of sample discussions and crucial information, Vernacchio offers a guide to sex education for the twenty-first century.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

A high school sexuality educator and English teacher at Friends' Central School in Wynnewood, Pa., Vernacchio has been featured in a 2011 New York Times Magazine cover story. Based on his Psychology Today blog, this account of his frank, outspoken approach to sex education strays far from the stilted warnings of yesteryear. Vernacchio suggests trashing the old baseball model (first base, scoring) with the stereotype of boy as aggressor and girl as defender, and replacing it with a "pizza model," in which kids learn to approach sexual relationships with respect for each partner's (or "sweetheart's") decisions, boundaries, and desires. Taking parents through the topics he covers in class (such as values, love and relationships, body image, gender myths, sexual orientation, sex and technology) Vernacchio explains how to foster honest communication and explore the subject of sex as a "necessary and normal" part of teen life. Discussing sex with teens, the author points out, is not about being a sex expert but, rather, about establishing a dialogue. Vernacchio's no-blame, no-shame approach will inspire parents to drop their fears, judgments, and inhibitions in order to help their kids navigate the teen years. Agent: Scott Waxman, Waxman Leavell Literary Agency. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Sexuality as a Force for Goodp. ix
Chapter 1 Teaching Healthy Sexp. 1
Chapter 2 Creating a Family Philosophy of Sex: What We Believe, What We Say, and How We Say Itp. 19
Chapter 3 Baseball, You're Out! Sexual Activity Without the Basesp. 49
Chapter 4 Love and Relationships: Becoming Your Authentic Selfp. 71
Chapter 5 Gender Myths: Helping Kids Step Outside New and Old Gender Stereotypesp. 103
Chapter 6 Sexual Orientation: Whom We Lovep. 129
Chapter 7 OK, So I Have a Body. How Do I Like It and What Do I Do with It?p. 161
Chapter 8 #iloveyou: Teens, Sex, and Technologyp. 207
Epiloguep. 235
Acknowledgmentsp. 239
Indexp. 241