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An Expose on Teen Sex and Dating: What's Really Going On and How to Talk About It

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  • Posted July 26, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    An Expose

    With a headline as shocking as this one, readers are expecting a tongue-in-cheek read. However, Braner provides a sound set of arguments and observations on teenage relationships without too much information. While he is brutally honest about what is doing on, he does not provide explicit diagrams of explanations. The emphasis in this book is that, while purity rallies are well intentioned, they do not work. Braner suggests talking to kids about sex and explaining how God made it to be in marriage for joy and how relationships relate to Jesus and the Church (comparing physical wholeness to spiritual wholeness). Much advice is written as if for a parental audience, but any reader can learn from this book. Adults will learn how to navigate the wishy-washy psyches of adolescents, and teens will learn that pre-marital sex is more than just whoredom. While educational and rooted in Biblical principles, I'd suggest very young readers only go through this book with adult supervision.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 18, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Cool book!

    When were teens not having sex? According to Braner it's only a recent occurence happening between mass proportions. The truth is teens have been having sex for a very long time.. The average age of marriage is at least now in the mid-twenties, but a few decades ago people were marrying as teenagers more often. It isn't that more teens are having sex, it's that marriage now occurs when people are older, which increases their chances of more sexual encounters.
    Before I continue my rant about that though I'll share with you what this book addresses. Braner is giving advice to parents on how to help their teens stray from sexual temptation. He provides a lot of discussions he's had, and a few statistics that have been found about how sexually active teens are. I believe that Braner is trying to stay realistic in providing advice, and his intent is good, but the book makes stereotypical points that may misguide parents on how to relate to their teens.
    I'll agree with Braner that guys don't really think about their wedding day plans as much as women, but I don't agree that women don't think about sex as often as guys. Many girls think about the honeymoon night, and I would even say anticipate that about as much as the wedding. Girls won't be as quick to admit that though, since we still haven't gotten to the point where girls are admitting they think, and talk sexually about as much as a guy. It's like the author forgot the erotic fiction market is one of the hugest, and it's main audience is women. That should convey something about how women are drawn to sexuality, but not in the visual way men are. I also knew girls who read erotica in high school, so it's audience has a huge range.
    I do like how Braner encourages dating though because he believes that in order to get know ourselves, and other people, we need to. He doesn't write it off as Joshua Harris does. For some reason I felt this book was older than it was, but I'm not sure what made me feel that way. I like how this book is attempting to be helpful to parents, and encourages them to be active in their teens lives.He also gives a good layout on why dating is useful.
    Overall the book does provide good points, but it has so much stereotyping which weakens his point. I believe that the majority of guys, and girls are as he explains they are in the book, but you have to consider the people who aren't like that so you aren't missing anyone. He could have elaborated on how sex is an emotional experience both men and women, but he doesn't. Not all guys treat sex as a tool for their physical needs, and not all girls treat it as an emotional bond. You have to address those instances because those do occur. This book is a good starting place for parents who are trying to understand teens though. The way sex is treated isn't just a teen problem though, because anytime sex is being mistreated by any age there is a problem.

    This complimentary copy was provided by NavPress in exchange for a review.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 17, 2011

    Right on Target!!

    "What would you say if I told you I had sex?" asked my daughter when she had just turned 14 years old as we were sunning on the swimming pool deck. My thoughts exploded fearfully in a zillion directions. Was this just a hypothetical question? What if it wasn't? What is the right answer? How can I answer this and keep her desiring to be open and honest with me? And shouldn't she first be asking the question "When am I old enough to date?"??
    While I have tried to construct a biblical foundation of sexuality, including books and programs with biblical principles such as The Princess and the Kiss as a third grader, purity retreats as a pre-teen, True Love Waits, I Kissed Dating Good-Bye and Every Young Woman's Battle as a teenager, I felt like I was fighting a losing battle in our sex-saturated culture.
    But this was the perfect book. It took me so long to review it because she kept sneaking it out of my room to read it. She said finally, the author of this book actually understands. An Expose on Teen Sex and Dating, by Andy Braner, has opened up a panorama of topics for us to discuss about current teen culture, hooking up, and dating. He hits the nail on the head when he says the problem lies in the ability teenagers have to compartmentalize every area of their lives. That is why the programs for purity don't work.
    A youth minister and speaker who has spent many years talking with and listening to teens, Andy Braner presents a biblical view of dating, why dating is good, how to date, how parents should handle dating, and how to handle it with dating relationships go wrong. He believes that God ordained certain relationships to happen in His timing and backs it up with Scripture. Dating is an exercise in helping teens understand who they are compatible with and how to grow in a relationship.
    I learned that my job is to simply and clearly show God's mercy even as she wants to run away from His perfect plan. The most powerful way to influence is to live life with her, to show her love in the midst of poor choices and to help her find Christ's healing when brokenness happens. "The pain and suffering endured by a life in recognition of sin can often be the exact road God wants us to go down. The beauty is that God is there to make the way straight again, anytime we ask" (p. 173).
    The writing style in this book was conversational and natural - it drew me in as well as my daughter not only in the topics covered but in the fluid writing style. I very highly recommend this book to any parent of teens or those in youth ministry.
    I received a complimentary copy of this book from NavPress Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 27, 2011

    good guidance, honest discussion

    This is not a salacious or a controversial title, but it is a necessary exploration of a topic which has not really been given enough attention in this type of depth before by a Christian-oriented publisher. Subtitled ' what's really going on and how to talk about it', this is one of the finest books of its kind that I have seen. It does not shy away from real life topics like STDs, sext-ing or facebook friends and engages the reader in an informed debate about popular views on the way we bring up our teens.
    This book is presented well for its target audience with lists, anecdotes and personal experiences all blended together as real guidance, a basis for honest discussion and a platform for 'telling it as it is'. This is a book that recognises that the world has changed a great deal in recent years and the equipping of teens with email, mobile phones and instant communication has opened up new worlds of opportunities. Media outlets bombard us with information and images that encourage teens to think of themselves as marketing targets and sexual objects.
    Those of us who have teenagers, work with teens or have regular contact with them will have realised that there are a lot of opportunities for casual relationships to develop. This book does recognise young people's need to develop relationships that last. The advice is common sense and grounded and common arguments are debated openly and honestly.
    The book will not really be an expose to many although there are several revelations that will come uneasily to people un-used to the teenage dating scene. It is a useful addition to any library and necessary reading for people wanting to know more about modern teenage life.
    I've only one criticism - the front cover design gives out completely the wrong message. While most people will see this title in a Christian bookshop, the cover design may discourage rather than encourage a closer look.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 16, 2011


    If you have teenage children or soon to be teens you must read this book. Be prepared and know how to talk to your kids.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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