Things have gotten worse. When I was a teenager, young girls worried about their reputations, getting pregnant, or catching venereal disease. Today there are many more dangers, including HIV, other STIs, and date rape drugs, and technology has created some risky new activities for teens, such as sexting. I'm glad I'm not a teenager in 2010! But I do have two teenage daughters, and I realize that raising them requires me to be aware of these dangers.
Belisa Vranich and Holly Eagleson are the authors of a new book for girls, published in 2010, Boys Lie: How Not to Get Played. The title of this book led me to ask this question: do boys lie more than girls? To be honest, I can't really answer that question. I think I was pretty lucky as a teenager. For the most part, the boys I met back then were decent, respectful guys, and didn't seem to lie any more than the average girl. In fact, I think in some ways they were more honest than girls, or at least a bit more open about their feelings. That being said, though, these are different times, and as I mentioned already, there are new risks and dangers for today's teens, and so as I read this book I changed the question in my mind from "who lies more?" to "how can this book help girls?".
Belisa Vranic is a clinical psychologist with over twenty years of work experience, and Holly Eagleson is a former features editor for Seventeen and Cosmopolitan magazines, and the author of a book for teen girls; together they do a thorough job of presenting lies, truths, and information in this book. Much of it pertains to sex and sexuality, and is quite candid. Each chapter starts with a lie told by boys. The authors provide a lot of explanation about the lie, and other ways that the lie might be told. Next they give ideas about what to say in response to the lie. Each chapter concludes with suggestions about what to do if you've already bought the lie. In this format, many common lies are presented in seventeen short, easy-to-read chapters that give girls the chance to think and prepare themselves to respond in strong ways to these lies and situations.
I shared Boys Lie with my daughters. Here are their very brief reviews:
Angela (age 13): Alright, I'm ready to revert back to kindergarten thinking... BOYS HAVE COOTIES.
Jasmine (age 17) : Boys Lie gives common sense advice and ways to deal with relationship problems in a very straightforward manner. I enjoyed reading it.
My thirteen-year-old is definitely too young for this book, and I think that my seventeen-year-old is as well--thankfully! Boys Lie is startling explicit at times, but as a source book it provides valuable information for teens about the very things that are so difficult to discuss with others. Information and knowledge are powerful, and lead to preparedness. This book is designed to make girls think about the consequences of their actions, and to develop a healthy sense of caution and responsibility about their sexuality, and in a more general sense. This is especially important for girls because they're the ones who seem to suffer the most and the longest as a result of impulsive actions; unplanned pregnancies can limit educational and financial success for years to come, and sexually transmitted diseases may be devastating. With such grave consequences it pays to think ahead, to plan, and to protect yourself or loved ones from these dangers.
Are you interested in reading this book, or do you know a teenager who'd benefit from reading it? Health Communications, Inc. is generously offering a copy of this book as a giveaway (U.S./Canada).
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Special thanks to Lisa from TLC for including me on this tour. For more reviews of this book, please visit the other stops on TLC's Boys Lie blog tour.