April 30, 2011

Ready, Set, Grow! {featured book}

Ready, Set, Grow! A "What's Happening to My Body?" Book for Younger Girls by Lynda Madaras, the author of numerous sex education books for youth, and a puberty and health educator for more than twenty years, is aimed at girls ages eight to eleven who will appreciate the book's direct language, simple questions and answers, and cute illustrations. Madaras covers a wide range of topics, from breasts and bras to hair in new places, growth and weight spurts, sweat and pimples, changes in the external and internal sex organs, getting your period, and respecting and protecting your body.

I appreciate among other Madaras' response to masturbation, which is still a taboo topic, especially among women. - Touching yourself feels good and there's nothing harmful in doing it, writes Madaras:
Most of us masturbate at one time or another. Some girls start when they're young and continue for all their lives. Others start when they are older. Some girls masturbate quite often. Other girls never, or hardly ever, masturbate. It's OK if you do and it's OK if you don't. (80)
With girls as young as ten requesting labiaplasty these days, I also appreciate Madaras' advice to young girls on how to examine their external sex organs with the help of a mirror, and her positive and detailed description of genital changes in puberty, including the labia:
The outer lips are thin and flat in little girls. At puberty, they begin to change. They become thicker and more rounded. Pubic hair also begins to grow here ... The inner lips change at puberty, too. They grow bigger. They change color. They get more wrinkly ... The outer lips cover the inner lips. But in some of us, the inner lips stick out beyond the outer lips. One of the inner lips may be bigger than the other. It's all perfectly normal! (73-74)
Ready, Set, Grow! concludes with advice on talking with your parents, and dealing with harassment and abuse.


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