298 pgs (includes notes and index)
The Body Scoop for Girls is divided into three major sections: What to Expect When You're Adolescent, Straight Talk on Sex and Your Body's Lifetime Warranty. Within each section Dr. Ashton includes call-out boxes with playlists, true/false, Did You Know, and other information. The playlists are things she wants teens to remember while the True/False sections try to dispel myths. There are a couple of pictures included, one is a full-monty shot so be careful when reading this at school.
My mother NEVER talked to any of us about sex whether to have or not to have. Dr. Ashton shares advice in a frank and friendly matter. She draws on examples from her own practice that will help teens make connections and not feel alone.
What to Expect When You're Adolescent, section 1, covers changes in the body. Ashton discusses when a teen should have their first gynecological exam, what vitamins they should take, and what's both common and uncommon as a body goes through puberty. I thought it was fascinating that Polycistic Ovarian Syndrome can cause acne and heavy periods. I've never heard of it and think I may have it! (p. 134) I also loved that she warned girls that they have until around the age of 25 to build those bones.
In Straight Talk on Sex, section 2, girls are encouraged to wait until at least 18 before having sex. Dr. Ashton explains that the older you are, the less risk you face. Waiting also increases a teen's chances of being in a stable relationship while choosing to have sex can lead to increased risk of STIs and unwanted pregnancies. I like that she doesn't actually encourage girls to have sex but tries to give them enough information to make the right choice. This section includes a sex ed pop quiz as well as Five Simple Rules for a Healthy Sex Life (167 - 169):
- Never tell your boyfriend you're on the pill.
- Tell your mother (or father) when you're sexually active.
- If you want to engage in adult behaviors, you need to act like an adult.
- Never do anything you don't want to do.
- Don't date guys more than a year older than you are.
The Body Scoop for Girls is easy to read and understand. Even grown-up girls can find helpful information. I did take umbrage with her athletic girl vs bookworm, as if you can't be both. I loved that she extols the virtues of knowing what you will say to get out of sticky situations but I'm not sure how agreeable I am with her encouraging girls to lie. Though, if it gets them away from an uncomfortable situation... All in all, this book is a valuable and much-needed addition to any home with teen-aged girls as well as school libraries.
About the Author
Dr. Jennifer Ashton is a board-certified ob-gyn who specializes in adolescent gynecology. In March 2009, Dr. Ashton joined CBS as a news medical correspondent. She reports on a broad range of medical topics for CBS News’ The Early Show and contributes to the division’s other broadcasts and platforms.
Thanks to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for this opportunity to review this book. Read an excerpt from The Body Scoop for Girls.