How have girls' feelings about sex and sexuality changed over the years? Not as much as it would seem, says Peggy Orenstein, author of Girls & Sex, a book that examines how today's young women navigate a landscape that includes hook-up culture, sexting, and easy access to pornography. Although girls now feel that they can engage in sex, says Orenstein, they still don't feel like they can enjoy it.
For the book, Orenstein interviewed a number of college-bound and college-aged girls, seeking to understand how their early education and understanding — or lack thereof — of sex and their own bodies is leading to disappointing and displeasurable experiences as they embark on their first sexual partnerships.
"Girls' early experiences shouldn't be something they have to get over," says Orenstein.
In this edition of the Harvard EdCast, Orenstein, discusses with Senior Lecturer Richard Weissbourd, girls' attitude about themselves and sex, how these attitudes may develop, and how parents can better support their daughters' approach to sexuality.
For more on Peggy Orenstein at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, visit Teens and Sex: Navigating from Shame and Regret to Integrity and Wellness.
The Harvard EdCast is a weekly series of podcasts, available on the Harvard University iTunes U page, that features a 15-20 minute conversation with thought leaders in the field of education from across the country and around the world. Hosted by Matt Weber, the Harvard EdCast is a space for educational discourse and openness, focusing on the myriad issues and current events related to the field.