Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Review of "Hooked: New Science on How Casual Sex is Affecting our Children."-Introduction

Hooked opens with an introduction by Gary L Rose, current president/CEO of the Medical Institute for Sexual Health.

"For much of its history, the organization has concentrated on the two primary factors that can impair sexual health: nonmarital pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. But today, with this book, Dr. McIlhaney and his coauthor Freda McKissic Bush, M.D., reveal a third risk, one that cannot be prevented with condoms, contraceptives, or morning-after pills."  - Hooked page 7

I'm intrigued by the use of the term "nonmarital pregnancy" rather than unwanted or teen pregnancy.  There's nothing inherently unhealthy about pregnancy outside of marriage if it is planned and wanted by competent adults.  Teen pregnancy is a major concern and the prevention of unwanted pregnancies should be a goal of any organization promoting sexual health, so the very specific word choice here concerns me.

The third risk Rose speaks of is the effect that sex has on the brain.  Since condoms, contraceptives, and morning-after pills have been shown to be effective in preventing their first two concerns, I guess they needed to seek out evidence for their claims in a different arena.  By focusing on the effects that "casual sex" has on the brain, Hooked is trying to support the model of abstinence until marriage as a biological ideal.

The final paragraph sets the ground rules for the book:
"At The Medical Institute for Sexual Health, we endeavor to find truth on issues of sexual health.  We want everyone to be fully informed with the most credible scientific information available on issues of sexual behavior and sexual health." -Hooked page 9
This is the gold standard by which I shall judge the rest of the book.  I plan to hold them to their claims of "truth" and "credible scientific information" at every turn.

Next: Chapter 1: Let's Talk Sex
Table of Contents

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