Item description for Hooked: New Science on How Casual Sex Is Affecting Our Children by Freda McKissic Bush & Joe S. McIlhaney, Jr....
Overview A practical look into the new scientific research that shows how sexual activity results in emotional bonding and a powerful desire to repeat the activity will help parents and singles understand that safe sex is not safe at all. 16,000 first printing.
Publishers Description Society tells us that sex is an act of self-expression, a personal choice for physical pleasure that can be summed up in the ubiquitous phrase "hooking up." Millions of American teenagers and young adults are finding that the psychological baggage of such behavior is having a real and lasting impact on their lives. They are discovering that "hooking up" is the easy part, but "unhooking" from the bonds of a sexual relationship can have serious consequences. A practical look into new scientific research showing how sexual activity causes the release of brain chemicals, which then result in emotional bonding and a powerful desire to repeat the activity. This book will help parents and singles understand that "safe sex" isn't safe at all; that even if they are protected against STDs and pregnancy, they are still hurting themselves and their partner.
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Studio: Northfield Publishing
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 1" Width: 5.75" Height: 8.75" Weight: 0.75 lbs.
Release Date Aug 1, 2008
Publisher Northfield Publishing
ISBN 0802450601 ISBN13 9780802450609
Availability 13 units. Availability accurate as of Oct 27, 2016 04:33.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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More About Freda McKissic Bush & Joe S. McIlhaney, Jr.
JOE S. MCILHANEY JR., M.D., is a board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist. In 2001, Dr. McIlhaney was appointed to the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS. He also serves on the Advisory Committee to the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. McIlhaney has co-authored over six books including "Hooked: New Science on How Casual Sex is Affecting Our Children," and "1001 Health-Care Questions Women Ask." Dr. McIlhaney resides in Austin, Texas with his wife, Marion. FREDA MCKISSIC BUSH, M.D., is a board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist and a partner in private practice with East Lakeland OB-GYN Associates in Jackson, Mississippi. She currently serves as Medical Director of the Center for Pregnancy Choices Metro Jackson and the Henry M. Johnson Women s Resource Crisis Pregnancy Center. Freda spends much of her time speaking on sexuality and social behavior education. Her passion is to help women raise a standard to become who they were created to be. To that end, she teaches and encourages a lifestyle of abstinence until marriage and fidelity within marriage. She co-authored her first book, "Hooked," with Dr. Joe S. McIlhaney, in 2008."
Hooked is quite the eye opener as we look at what power the human brain has on how people respond to sexual decisions and situations. Casual sex is effecting our society because it is being minimized to "no big deal" among teenagers and young adults. Some organizations are focused on prevention of pregnancy and disease (without providing all facts and statistics) that the increase of heartbreak, low self-esteem, depression and substance abuse are not considered "risks" when engaging in sexual activity. I enjoyed Hooked as a teacher of healthy relationships - I spend my time telling high schoolers that they are worth so much more than the physical aspects of a relationship. Sometimes it feels like an uphill battle, but this is the message I want my girls to understand as they grow older. My line to my high schoolers - "Having sex is not rocket science, for that matter, finding someone to have sex with isn't difficult either - having a HEALTHY relationship with real feelings...now that takes work!"
Important Topic, Disappointing Coverage of the Issue Jan 4, 2010
While full of references to scientific studies and discussion of the adverse effects of casual sex, the authors squander their efforts by presenting the results of their research in a way that ends up being dull, disorganized, and ultimately a great disappointment.
Worse, it seems that they came at the task with a very definite agenda, one that seems to skew the results and thus makes their work ultimately not very credible.
For example, they talk about adolescents as being unable to fully process sexual encounters in a way that can lead to long-term commitments. Their comments are so sweeping, however, that they would not account for the millions of people throughout history and around the world who married as teenagers--really quite common in many cultures at many times--and who did remain in lifelong marriages.
Further, I found it more than a little disturbing to see their approach seem to be a kind of hyper-Calvinistic biology centered one. It was as if sexual experiences have so much influence over the brain that there is no way to overcome this biological imprinting and programming. While I fully agree that there are serious issues involved in what happens to one's brain when there is over-exposure to pornography or other sexual stimuli, the author's approach seems to discount the power of the Holy Spirit to overcome even the worst experiences.
Bottom line: I find nothing to recommend this brief but very boring and not very helpful book. Surely there must be better texts on the topic out there!
Casual Sex and our children Jan 3, 2010
This book captures the reality of casual sex -- its affects on our minds, bodies and hearts.
Mixed, undeclared intentions detract from an otherwise valuable work Dec 26, 2009
This book combines two priorities, on the one hand it is an interesting summary of psychological, neurochemical and imaging medicine for lay readers. It is well referenced and easy to read.
On the other hand it seeks to justify and defend traditional family values, the judicious choice of a life partner and particularly focusses on the emotional havoc done by multiple short term sexual relations. In this it is plentifully furnished with short testimonials, has a gentle, persuasive and sympathetic tone.
There are plenty of illuminating sociological statistics which highlight just how caustic an amoral lifestyle is:
*80% of unwed teen fathers don't marry the mother of their baby. *20% of 12-18 yr oral contraceptive users get pregnant within 6 months. *cohabiting couples show much more violence than married couples, are more likely to divorce if they do marry after cohabiting than those don't cohabit first, most cohabiting relationships break up or end up in marriage after 2 year. *Unfaithfulness is reported 4 x more often by cohabitees than married couples. *in one sample (NCPT 2007), 70% of female and 55% of male high school students wish they had waited rather than rushed into sex.
So far so good, but the problem is that very often the science is used to justify the ethics in a way that seems stretched and speculative. The retrospective claim about the development of the brain is used to justify waiting till personal judgement is better settled in the 20s - good sense, but is this conclusion really vindicated by MRI and PET studies per se? The overemphasis on the importance of oxytocin and vasopressin in bonding is claimed to justify not rushing for a 'quick fix' - is this really demonstrated by case control studies with behvioural correlation? - I don't see the evidence here if so. Dopamine is described rather simplistically as the risk/reward hormone, and promiscuity to a kind of addiction to a 'dopamine rush'. All this looks tendentious, and may mislead parents into simplistic and mechanistic discussions.
This book is illuminating, sympathetic and well intentioned, but it also suffers a serious flaw. There are vital moral grounds for the sanctity of marriage. These need to be championed vigorously, and our societies have vandalised them at tremendous cost to our children. However trying to sneak these precepts in under the guise of over-extrapolated science alone is unnecessary and needlessly gives detractors legitimate fuel for criticism.
Consider the source Dec 11, 2009
Joe McIlhaney, a Bush-appointed advisor to the CDC, has teamed up with Freda Bush (no relation but another Dubya advisor) to write this highly sex-negative book. Both are known to be abstinence-only advocates, and McIlhaney even had the audacity to testify to Congress that compehensive sex education did not work despite much evidence that it actually does. So bear that in mind when you read this rather one-sided book.
Audacious, this book certainly is. Realistic, it is not. Fair and balanced, it is not. The gist of it is that 1) sex is highly addictive, 2) sex produces chemicals that can rewire the brain, 3) casual sex is inherently psychologically harmful and can permanently ruin one's ability to bond in the future, 4) since the brain does not finish developing until the mid-twenties, the effects are worse for those who engage in sex, especially casual sex, before that age, and 5) we are all designed to be monogamous. Responding from a position of moral panic, they conclude that one should wait until one's mid-twenties to have sex, and even then only do so in a committed relationship.
Point #1 is technically true given the fact that anything pleasurable can be psychologically "addictive" if a broad enough definition of "addiction" is used.
Point #2 is misleading since pretty much all of our experiences, especially intense ones can alter the brain to some extent, and sex is not unique in this regard. Yes, we release dopamine, oxytocin, vasopressin, etc during sexual activity, but so do a lot of other things. Conclusions drawn are thus speculative.
Point #3 is "proven" by selectively choosing studies that agree with the author's predetermined conclusion, and excluding evidence to the contrary. And where there are holes in the (often debatable) science, the authors fill them in with mere anecdotal evidence. In fact, a recent study by Marla Eisenberg et al. of 18-24 year olds found that casual sex, "friends with benefits", and "hooking up," whatever you want to call it, does not appear to cause significant psychological harm when compared with those in committed relationships. And Eisenberg was certainly no hippy-dippy free-lover; she was surprised at the results and does not endorse casual sex, stressing the proven physical risks. So at best, the jury is still out on McIlhaney and Bush's conclusions.
Point #4 depends on points #1 through #3 being true, as well as the assumption that the brains of those under 25 are inherently and uniformly more vulnerable than those over 25. They appear to lump 12 year olds and 20 year olds in the same category as "children", despite the obvious developmental differences. Remember that the vast majority of this development occurs before 18, especially before 16. Again, the jury is out on that one on both counts, and even if true, the authors' recommendations are not exactly realistic for the masses. Like most of the "teen panic" industry, there is a tendency to scapegoat teens for adult problems.
Point #5 is highly debatable. Many anthropologists and biologists have disagreed on this one for a long time.
Sex, casual or otherwise, does indeed have a dark side that young people should know about. But taking as extreme a position as the authors do appears to be counterproductive. Teens need to learn the truth, not one-sided propaganda. And the kinds of sex ed programs that the authors excoriate are exactly what teens need more of.
The one strength of this book is that it does not directly appeal to God or religion to make its points. But it cannot be denied that the mentality of religious right has had an influence on the authors' interpretation of science.
The book contains funny gems such as "don't hug a guy unless you plan on bonding with him" and that sex is similar to cocaine. LOL! They also note that "When one is forced or coerced to have sex, it is not good," which is certainly true, but that is belaboring the obvious and has little connection to the thesis of the book. Though, when coerced and consensual sex are lumped together in studies of sex, this can yield specious inferences.
If you want a good laugh, I suggest you read this book to see just how polarized the debate over sex ed has become. But if you want real, unbiased science without hyperbole and specious conclusions, I suggest you look elsewhere.