Let’s face it, most parents have a hard time talking with their teens, especially about sex. Usually there is a strained, embarrassed silence punctuated with bursts of moralistic prohibition and possibly a few biological facts—and sadly those often incorrect. And those teens are, of course, awash in hormones, desires, and curiosity. They want information, they crave input, and they want so badly to figure it out: What is love? When should I have sex? What is my sexual identity? Am I attractive? Does (s)he really care about me?
Al Vernacchio is a soft-spoken teacher with a warm and gentle personality. He has also become one of America’s prominent sex educators. For goodness sex is a book that every parent should read. Vernacchio, who teaches sex (and other subjects) at a private school outside of Philadelphia, has changed the entire playing field for that conversation. In fact, one of his major contributions is to change our very way of thinking about sex. Gone is that old metaphor of sex being like a baseball game. Gone is that “playing field” mentality. Instead we have mutual respect and communication. Instead of competition we have discussion and shared goals.
For goodness sex makes it clear that sex education, be it in the school, the home, or the church, is not about the plumbing but about attitudes towards oneself and others. Before there can be a discussion of the physical, there must be real conversation about feelings and self-esteem. Quite simply, while Al Vernacchio has not simply written a great new book about sex education, he has also written a great new book about parenting. Click on book cover to view on Amazon.