For Goodness Sex

Changing the Way We Talk to Teens About Sexuality, Values, and Health

Al Vernacchio

Book

Let's talk about sex.

We do it all the time, don't we? We talk about our sex lives with friends; we gossip about celebrity hookups; we watch reality dating shows. Yet when it comes to talking to our kids—many of whom are in sexually intimate relationships—we are strangely silent.

But our kids are talking—and seeing and listening and learning—about sex every day. Unfortunately the messages they receive are often problematic: boys are studs, girls are sluts; real sex should be like porn; hookups are better than relationships. Your kids know more about sex than you think they do. But your kids don't know as much about sex as they think they do.

To make matters worse, most sexuality education in schools is either abstinence-only or abstinence-based—and both models tend to leave young people ill equipped to make fully informed decisions. Sexuality educator Al Vernacchio, a high school teacher for more than twenty years, has been an advocate of a new category: sex-positive education.

In For Goodness Sex, Vernacchio refutes the "disaster prevention" model of sex ed, offering instead a progressive and realistic approach. Without a broader understanding to offset the damaging perceptions of sex that pervade much of our culture, adolescents and teens are dangerously unprepared intellectually and emotionally to develop as sexual beings, let alone cope with today's world of sex via smartphone, cyberbullying, and the precipitous rise of high school and college sexual assault.

For Goodness Sex offers the tools and information adults and young people need in order to have important conversations about sexuality and to develop healthy values and safe habits.

Author

Al Vernacchio

Al Vernacchio is a high school sexuality educator and English teacher at Friends' Central School in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania. A human sexuality educator for more than twenty years, Al lectures and offers workshops throughout the country. His work was the feature of a 2011 New York Times Magazine cover story, and his blog, "For Goodness Sex," can be found on psychologytoday.com. Al lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Reviews

“An engaging, much-needed new approach to teaching children about the human sexual experience.” Kirkus Reviews

“Vernacchio’s no-blame, no-shame approach will inspire parents to drop their fears, judgments, and inhibitions in order to help their kids navigate the teen years.” Publishers Weekly

“Al Vernacchio has masterfully accomplished what good sexuality educators have attempted for so many years: he has created a work that is both a fun, easy read as well as a thorough and thoughtful guide.” —Don Dyson, PhD, Associate Dean, School of Human Service Professions and Director, Center for Human Sexuality Studies, Widener University

“For Goodness Sex is a breath of much-needed fresh air around a very charged subject. Bravo, Al Vernacchio!” —Christiane Northrup, M.D., ob/gyn physician and author of the New York Times bestsellers: Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom, and The Wisdom of Menopause

“At last a book that teaches parents how to talk to kids about sex in a way that is based healthily in reality and not fearfully in doom and gloom. I wish my parents had read this book!” —Lori Duron, author of Raising My Rainbow

“Al Vernacchio has written a wonderful book that includes numerous model answers and a new way to think about adolescent sexuality -- as a force for good in life rather than simply a problem to be dealt with.” —Leslie M. Kantor, MPH, Vice President of Education, Planned Parenthood Federation of America