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by Lynda Madaras with Area Madaras Newmarket Press, 2000 Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on Mar 22nd 2003
Lynda Madarass bestselling book, The
Whats Happening to My Body Book for Girls, discusses the biological, psychological
and social aspects of puberty for both girls and boys.Most chapters focus on the physical changes
that occur to children as they become more physically mature, with chapters on
Puberty, Your Breasts: An Owners Manual, Public Hair and Other Changes Down
There, The Puberty Growth Spurt, Body Hair, Perspiration, Pimples and Other
Changes, The Reproductive Organs and the Menstrual Cycle, All About Having
Periods, and Boys and Puberty.Facts
are explained in clear language, with drawn illustrations.Chapters pose that many girls have, such as
What is the right age for a girl to grow breasts and get pubic hair?, What if I
get my period at school?, and How do I tell my mom I want a bra?Along with the objective facts and some
statistics are many quotations from girls and women about their feelings about
puberty and events that occurred to them during adolescence.These include discussion of how women deal
with sexual objectification and harassment, as well as shyness and
embarrassment about unfamiliar bodily changes and concerns about what is
normal.The book includes advice about
healthy living, including eating and exercising and some information about
eating disorders.All the advice in the
book is sensible and clear, although of course, it only touched on some topics
briefly, and so readers may want to consult other sources of information to
understand particular issues in greater depth.The final chapter is on Romantic and Sexual Feelings and sets out some
of the worries girls have about dating and starting to become sexually active,
and it includes some discussion of homosexuality and bisexuality.There is a section on sexual crimes such as
rape, date rape, and sexual abuse.The
book finishes with a short section listing resources, with addresses, phone
numbers, URLs and e-mail addresses.The
writing is consistently is non-judgmental and reassuring, and this could
certainly be a helpful book for teens and preteens who are looking for some
basic information about all aspects of puberty.
Christian Perring, Ph.D., is
Chair of the Philosophy Department at Dowling College, Long Island, and editor
of Metapsychology Online Review. His main research is on philosophical
issues in medicine, psychiatry and psychology.
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