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For Goodness Sex: Changing the Way We Talk to Teens About Sexuality, Values, and Health
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For Goodness Sex: Changing the Way We Talk to Teens About Sexuality, Values, and Health

4.37  ·  Rating Details ·  146 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
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 ten
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published September 16th 2014 by Harper Wave (first published September 9th 2014)
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Laurie Gray
Oct 06, 2014 Laurie Gray rated it it was amazing
For Goodness Sex: Changing the Way We Talk to Teens about Sexuality, Values, and Health by Al Vernacchio invites parents, students, educators and everyone, really, into Vernacchio’s Sexuality and Society class in a private Quaker school near Philadelphia, PA. In Mr. V’s classroom, students are safe to sort out all of the negative and exploitive messages they’ve received about human sexuality and begin to build an accurate and positive image of themselves, which will in turn allow them to form ...more
Sep 13, 2016 Brittany rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I'm starting a series of teen talks at my library and wanted to get some ideas on broaching the subject of sex in a more down to earth kind of way. Vernacchio being a teacher definitely made the difference in this book. He seems to have the right rapport with teens that allows him to be frank and informative. There was a lot of information in here for parents, which doesn't apply to me, but some of the things he writes talking to parents is good to reiterate back to them. Vernacchio definitely ...more
Shanna Jacobson
May 03, 2015 Shanna Jacobson rated it it was amazing
I saw a TED Talk by Al Vernacchio (Sex Needs a New Metaphor) and was so impressed that when I learned he also wrote a book, I didn't waste any time tracking it down. I've been doing a lot of reading about human sexuality over the last 1-1/2+ years to prepare myself as a parent for what's ahead as my child approaches her teens. And I've been really pleased by the vast majority of the books I've read, as they have been honest, informative, and helpful to me as a parent. This one is no exception, ...more
May 03, 2016 annapi rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Excellent book for advice on how to talk to teens about sex. Lots of good information that is relevant to the times. The author is a sex educator and the book gives you a good overview of the details of his high school course on sex education. Highly recommended. This is a great guide for parents. My 12 year old son enjoyed it too, and my 14 year old daughter is reading it now. Most of what he advocates in the book I believe we already as parents put into practice, and the book would be great ...more
Riley Johnson
Dec 05, 2016 Riley Johnson rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
This book had a lot of straightforward information. I liked that it emphasized values and self-image, and urged parents to take an active role in helping their kids navigate adolescence. The addition of an LGBTQ perspective was also pretty helpful. Some of my patrons will be happy to know we have this!
Feb 16, 2015 Sara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such a great book! You should read this book if:
1) You're a teacher
2) You're a parent
3) You may ever have the occasion to talk to a young person about sex and society
4) You had less than stellar sex education

So really, everybody should read this book.
Robyn Carr
Jan 22, 2016 Robyn Carr rated it it was amazing
This book is a great resource for parents looking to instill positive attitudes about sexuality in their children. Also a resource for people who work with kids. Easy to read and provides practical ideas and information.
Sandy D.
Fabulous book - not so much about sex as about how our values (and our teen's values) inform our feelings about sexuality. Great insights from Vernacchio's students' anonymous questions/comments.
Brandy Fox
Great read! I especially appreciate the author's inclusion of his student's questions, and how he answered them in his blog. I recommend this book to anyone who is parenting teenagers.
Carolyn Fitzpatrick
Oct 06, 2014 Carolyn Fitzpatrick rated it really liked it
I had no idea that there was such a thing as a MA in Human Sexuality Education! Or high schools that offered a year long course in sexuality! This book is not a teacher's manual for Mr V's course, but it definitely makes me want to teach a class like this. The recommended exercises are excellent, and he offers lots of suggestions to parents in talking to their children as well.

Key features of the course: Pretty much the whole first half of the course is about defining your own values and learni
Brooke Smith
Sep 18, 2014 Brooke Smith rated it it was amazing
Review posted on my blog, BB Reads.

Before I read this book, I had no idea who Al Vernacchio was or that he had a blog of the same name of this book. I was a complete virgin (aren't I punny?!) to his style of thinking. My kids are not teenagers either: the oldest just started kindergarten. But this book, especially if you grew up in American public schools with its fear-mongering, abstinence-only education, is revelatory to adults of all ages, parents and childfree alike.

The focus of this book is
Jun 18, 2016 Chrissy rated it it was amazing
All these positive reviews are extremely well deserved and there isn't much for me to add. I found this book by accident -- no idea the author has a TED talk and a blog. I was at the library looking for something up to date that would help me to continue to talk with my two sons not really so much about sex but about intimate relationships of all kinds. The author's continuing experience teaching at a Friends school means that he is up to date about how kids are currently trying to make sense in ...more
Nicole Gathany
Sep 11, 2015 Nicole Gathany rated it it was amazing
This book did a lot for me.

Now I have a better understanding of sexual agency, informed consent, and the sexism that exists within sex education in this country. I also didn't know that there was a difference between gender and sexuality--one can be trans and not gay or trans and gay--before reading this book. However, I will say that Vernacchio did not really explain what it means to have a healthy sexuality.

Nonetheless, I wish I had read this book in high school. I think it would have saved m
Morninglight Mama
I've never so much agreed with a book's guidance and advice as I did with this incredible resource for parents. Vernacchio conveys respect and candor in this guide, and his openness is refreshing, and so damn necessary. I think this is helpful reading for parents of children of all ages, and perhaps it deserves a re-read every once in a while as a reminder of how to keep communication lines open with our teens. I've never felt so validated in my parenting perspective as I did when reading this ...more
Jun 18, 2016 Laura rated it it was amazing
This is a thoughtful and sweet book written by a high school teacher who teaches a sex ed class. I really appreciated the way he conveyed his values to teens while talking about tricky subjects. He puts a big emphasis on equality, respect, and communication in relationships. I also liked his idea for moving away from baseball as a metaphor for sex and instead talking about pizza. He has a quick video (TED?) on this that's worth googling.
Joyce Eisenberg
Oct 09, 2014 Joyce Eisenberg rated it it was amazing
Both of my kids took the author's Sex and Society class when there were in high school and thought Al Vernacchio was an awesome teacher. By reading his first book, I feel like I took the class, too. The book is clear, engaging, and offered points of view that were new to me. It also answered questions - both ones I knew I had and ones I never even considered. Whether or not you have teens, it's a worthwhile read, and it makes for some great dinner conversation!
Apr 05, 2016 Leah rated it it was amazing
Borrow it, buy it, just read it. Go on. Do a favor to yourself. Whether you have kids or not, we are all in a position to be a positive role model to someone younger than we are. It could be the twenty something fledging intern in the office who is clearly confused about their values and what they want from relationships. Reading this made me remember, question, laugh, share and groan. If only we all found communicating as natural as this author does, the world would be a better place.
Mar 14, 2016 Amy rated it it was amazing
Every parent should read this book and use it to start conversations, accurately answer questions, and convey their own personal values so that their kids can have the tools to make decisions that are right for them and consciously develop their own sets of values. I think most high school-aged teens would benefit greatly from reading it as well.
Jan 28, 2016 Nancy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
Loved this, and the push for better communication with kids and teens about their whole sexuality. Good tips, and ideas for practicing talking about this. If you haven't seen his TED talk on the pizza model of sex - find it and watch it. Then watch it again with your kids. All parents should read this.
Brenda Lee
Mar 13, 2015 Brenda Lee rated it really liked it
Such an important topic! I appreciate that Alfred Vernacchio took the time to share his ground level experience of working with teens and how to talk with them about sex. Well worth reading before you have teens, as it helps to set the stage on how you may approach the subject when the time does come.
Laura Jane
Pretty good book! Read is for Lisa's Adolescent Sexuality class. Written by a high school teacher at a Quaker school who teaches two year-long courses on sexuality, one for freshmen and one for seniors. Talk about a comprehensive sex education!
May 28, 2015 Cassandra rated it it was amazing
Love the premise of this book-it encourages open communication and defining values and decisions that are right for each individual. Your kids aren't too young for you to be reading this-I've already used some of the discussions with my 6 year old. The chapter on technology is eye opening.
Aug 30, 2016 Gail rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated this book. It made me wish that Vernacchio could teach sex ed in every single school on the planet! Since that can't happen, very grateful that he decided to write this and send it out into the world.
Feb 03, 2015 Gena rated it really liked it
Shelves: parent-of-a-teen
Pretty good. I like his positive view of emergent sexuality and his respect of teenage emotions. Sometimes he gets a little corny and sickly sweet about things but he is on the right path. I have recommended this to several of my friends.
Mar 10, 2016 Laura added it
Pretty good book! Read is for Lisa's Adolescent Sexuality class. Written by a high school teacher at a Quaker school who teaches two year-long courses on sexuality, one for freshmen and one for seniors. Talk about a comprehensive sex education!
Apr 21, 2016 Katherine rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent book for parents of teens. It reminds us of some of the topics we might forget to include: relationships (the relational part, not just the sex part), consent, tailoring the discussion to your values, that talking about sex is no different than talking about any other subject.
Mar 19, 2015 Pamelyn rated it it was amazing
This is a great book. Written by a sex educator in a private Quaker school (Yeah, I know!) was a real education to me about the modern kids. Best point: use the pizza analogy instead of the baseball analogy for sex. Read it and see what I'm talking about. I evened learned some new words, lol
Dec 26, 2014 Casey rated it it was amazing
As a former student of Mr. V's, I'm so lucky to have been able to experience his class first hand. This book is a lovely extension of the class, and valuable to anyone who can't be there in his classroom in person.
Feb 21, 2015 Kate rated it really liked it
As the parent of a soon-to-be-teen, I would give this at least a 4. As a sex ed teacher, I wanted more about his specific teaching techniques and exercises.
Nov 29, 2014 Erin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
Everyone who works with teens should read this book! I wish all teenagers could have such a thoughtful, honest, and careful education around human sexuality.
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