Publisher:  Harper  Edition:  Reprint  Available in:  Paperback. Also available in Hardcover, Audiobook and E-Reader  ISBN:  978-0062209726  Published:  March 29, 2016

Publisher: Harper
Edition: Reprint
Available in: Paperback. Also available in Hardcover, Audiobook and E-Reader
ISBN: 978-0062209726
Published: March 29, 2016

Girls & Sex

Navigating the complicated new landscape

BEST SELLER: New York Times
WINNER: Books for a Better LIfe Award
AN AMAZON EDITOR’S PICK: Top 20 Books of 2016
A TIME MAGAZINE PICK: Top 10 Non-Fiction Books of 2016
A SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE PICK: Top 100 Recommended Books of 2016
A NEW YORK TIMES PICK:  "The Year in Reading" 
A HUFFINGTON POST PICK:  "19 Non-Fiction Books from 2016 That Will Expand Your Mind" 

THE AUTHOR OF the New York Times bestseller Cinderella Ate My Daughter offers a clear-eyed picture of the new sexual landscape girls face in the post-princess stage—high school through college—and reveals how they are negotiating it.

A generation gap has emerged between parents and their girls. Even in this age of helicopter parenting, the mothers and fathers of tomorrow’s women have little idea what their daughters are up to sexually or how they feel about it. Drawing on in-depth interviews with nearly one hundred young women and a wide range of psychologists, academics, and experts, renowned journalist Peggy Orenstein goes where most others fear to tread, pulling back the curtain on the hidden truths, hard lessons, and important possibilities of girls’ sex lives in the modern world.

While the media has focused—often to sensational effect—on the rise of casual sex and the prevalence of rape on campus, in Girls & Sex Peggy Orenstein brings much more to the table. She examines the ways in which porn and all its sexual myths have seeped into young people’s lives; what it means to be the “perfect slut” and why many girls scorn virginity; the complicated terrain of hookup culture and the unfortunate realities surrounding assault. In Orenstein’s hands these issues are never reduced to simplistic truths; rather, her powerful reporting opens up a dialogue on a potent, often silent, subtext of American life today—giving readers comprehensive and in-depth information with which to understand, and navigate, this complicated new world.


“If you care even a little bit about women in the 21st century, you MUST read Peggy Orenstein’s Girls & Sex.”
—Caitlin Moran, How to Be a Woman

”Once again, Peggy Orenstein sheds light on a sensitive and too often misunderstood issue—one which, she argues persuasively, affects boys as well as girls. Her reporting on sexuality is insightful, revealing how a healthy, direct approach to the topic is a key component of gender equality.”
—Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and founder of

“Girls & Sex should be mandatory for anyone who cares about the present and future cultural landscape for girls, women, humans. I seriously want to quit my job and tour the country, furiously hawking Peggy Orenstein’s insightful, important book.”
—Rashida Jones, actress, writer, producer

“With compassion and insight, Peggy Orenstein holds a mirror not only to girls’ experiences but to our own judgments. No less than the emotional health and physical safety of our daughters (and of our sons, by the way) depends on the kind of insight Girls & Sex provides.”
—Rosalind Wiseman, Queen Bees & Wannabes

Watch Peggy's TED Talk!



“Eloquent…compact, polished and readable.”
The Boston Globe

“Girls & Sex should serve as a wake-up call to those who want to reframe the conversation around sex to ensure that young women and men can avoid negative sexual experiences and find €œcaring, reciprocal, egalitarian relationships.”
The San Francisco Chronicle

“Orenstein interviewed more than 70 young women in their teens and early 20s to find out, in a non-sensational but deeply entertaining way, what they’re thinking and doing sexually”.
People (“Book of the Week”)

“Thought-provoking. . .Girls & Sex is full of thoughtful concern and empathetic questions.”
New York Times Book Review

“I appreciated Orenstein’s bluntness, especially around the role that parents must play.”
Los Angeles Times

“Provocative and thoughtful…Orenstein’s book is both an examination of sexual culture and a guide on how to improve it.”
The Washington Post


Check out Peggy’s resources for raising sexually healthy kids



“When Did Porn Become Sex Ed?”The New York Times, "Sunday Review" 

“Our Barbie Vaginas, Ourselves”Mother Jones

“Who’s the Hottest of Them All?”The [London] Times Sunday Magazine