Andy Brainer’s, “An Expose on Teen Sex and Dating: What’s Really Going On an How To Talk about It,” was eye opening. I am a pastor and the father of two teenage girls and the book was extremely valuable both to my personal life as a parent and my ministry.
I was nailed in the introduction, “If we continue thinking about dating in the context of our own experiences, we’re going to watch a generation struggle through sexual depression and emotional guilt, and consequences that may last a lifetime.” (p.14) I confess…Guilty as charged. All I can say is thank God for the wake up call. This book can be used as a study guide, reference book, or even a devotional book at your local church. Brainer’s goal is to help parents and youth workers help teenagers walk through some of the most confusing time of their lives.
My jaw dropped on more than one occasion as I read the book. For example he cites a well known Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor that said that one of the most common things he deals with among teenagers is Syphilis of the Mouth!
Brainer is right on when he says that most teenagers see a relationship with someone of the opposite sex as opportunistic. He also says that a lot of times it has nothing to do with commitment and everything to do with pleasure. He describes teenage relationships as an amusement park. A lot of times teenagers have the mentality, “‘There are lots of roller costers to ride, so I’ll just ride this one until it gets boring or it’s obviously over, and then it’s on to a new one.” (p.24) Brainer writes, “Most teenagers aren’t dating; they’re just seeing how far they can go with anyone willing.” (p.25)
The book would be totally depressing except that Brainer offers some very rational and practical solutions. He draws upon his 15 years of youth ministry to provide a valuable resource on how to talk to teenagers about dating/sex as well as how to help model healthy relationship skills. I filled up the back cover of the book with page numbers of useful suggestions for working with youth. I would recommend it for both parents and youth workers.
One review I read talked about Brainer over generalizing on a few key areas. That’s probably an accurate observation, but it wasn’t too difficult for me to overlook such generalizations to get at his main ideas.
I received this book free of charge in exchange for a honest non-biased review.