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Not Under My Roof: Parents, Teens, and the…

Not Under My Roof: Parents, Teens, and the Culture of Sex

by Amy T. Schalet

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171587,099 (2.75)None
family (1) love (1) Maren (1) Nederland (1) parenting (3) read (1) read in 2012 (1) sex (2) sociology (3) teen (1) teenagers (1) to-read (2) US (1)



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This book provides a much needed look at differing approaches to teenage sex among two sets of parents: one set American parents, where there is one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the western world; the other set Dutch, where there is one of the lowest rates of teen pregnancy in the western world. Unfortunately, the book was based almost solely on interviews, with self-reported attitudes and actions being reported as true, no evidence that any sort of verification was done, and no hard data to back up the assumptions made by the researcher. In addition, she has a major problem with biological explanations of teen sexuality, always using sneer quotes when making references to these explanations given by American parents. In this respect, however, the American parents are probably closer to right than the Dutch parents, and a brief update at the end of the book did suggest that the Dutch system might be having a bit more difficulty than originally believed. The author writes about the Dutch experience through a set of rose-colored glasses that prevent her from asking the hard questions she puts to the American system. While it is very possible (even probable) that there is much good in the approach of Dutch parents, it is also possible that the belief among the Dutch that teenagers will self-regulate in matters of alcohol and sex might be just a tad optimistic. Again, this appeared to be showing up in her update, but still without hard evidence, and mostly anecdotal information about the dissatisfaction that some of the Dutch were experiencing with their children. Overall, this topic could use a solid treatment with good data. This just wasn't it. ( )
  Devil_llama | Oct 3, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0226736199, Paperback)

For American parents, teenage sex is something to be feared and forbidden: most would never consider allowing their children to have sex at home, and sex is a frequent source of family conflict. In the Netherlands, where teenage pregnancies are far less frequent than in the United States, parents aim above all for family cohesiveness, often permitting young couples to sleep together and providing them with contraceptives. Drawing on extensive interviews with parents and teens, "Not Under My Roof" offers an unprecedented, intimate account of the different ways that girls and boys in both countries negotiate love, lust, and growing up. Tracing the roots of the parents' divergent attitudes, Amy Schalet reveals how they grow out of their respective conceptions of the self, relationships, gender, autonomy, and authority. She provides a probing analysis of the way family culture shapes not just sex but also alcohol consumption and parent-teen relationships. Avoiding caricatures of permissive Europeans and puritanical Americans, Schalet shows that the Dutch require self-control from teens and parents, while Americans guide their children toward autonomous adulthood at the expense of the family bond.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:29 -0400)

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