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Girls Gone Mild: Young Women Reclaim Self-Respect and Find It’s Not Bad to Be Good

Author: Wendy Shalit
Publisher: Random House • 2007 • 352 pages

In these days when even the dolls in suburban toy stores are dressed like strippers … when mainstream clothing retailers market thongs to pre-teen girls … when homemade sex tapes have become star-making vehicles for the likes of Paris Hilton … it might seem that the powerful forces arrayed against the chastity and innocence of American girls have finally and irreversibly triumphed. But, just when all seems bleakest, resistance is coming from an unexpected quarter: the girls themselves. Now, in Wendy Shalit’s “Girls Gone Mild: Young Women Reclaim Self-Respect and Find It’s Not Bad to Be Good,” you can hear the voices at the frontlines of this emerging new movement.

Drawing on numerous studies and interviews around the nation, Shalit’s findings are at once shocking and encouraging. Some of these “rebellious good girls,” Shalit reports, are pressured by their own mothers to lose their virginity, and have come to resent it; others are realizing that boys who demand to be nothing more than “friends with benefits” aren’t true friends at all; still others just don’t think they need to be “bad” to be liberated in the first place. And as these girls speak for themselves, we see that what is expected of them turns out to be very different from what they truly want.

“An intelligent, illuminating, and unexpectedly optimistic book about those young women who have chosen to opt out of the revolution.” — Terry Teachout

“Throws into detailed, sickening relief the actual content the average girl in North America is subjected to from birth onwards in the determination to make her “bad.” . . A solid researcher, citing wide-ranging statistical, professional and anecdotal testimony, Shalit builds a persuasive case for promiscuity’s harsher toll on women than men.” — The National Post

“Shalit marshals her evidence with the diligence of a trial lawyer. . . .[she] makes it clear that for girls, the young world is not a safe harbour, but a Darwinian thrash hunt wherein their degradation is the prize. Shalit does not preach; she merely reports on the pockets of girls who are taking back their innocence and insisting it is not naivet?.” — The Globe and Mail

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