Child & Adolescent Development: Overview

Review of "What's Happening to My Body? Book for Girls"

By Lynda Madaras with Area Madaras
Newmarket Press, 2000
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on Mar 22nd 2003
What's Happening to My Body? Book for Girls

Lynda Madaras’s bestselling book, The What’s Happening to My Body Book for Girls, discusses the biological, psychological and social aspects of puberty for both girls and boys.  Most chapters focus on the physical changes that occur to children as they become more physically mature, with chapters on Puberty, Your Breasts: An Owner’s Manual, Public Hair and Other Changes “Down There”, The Puberty Growth Spurt, Body Hair, Perspiration, Pimples and Other Changes, The Reproductive Organs and the Menstrual Cycle, All About Having Periods, and Boys and Puberty.  Facts are explained in clear language, with drawn illustrations.  Chapters pose that many girls have, such as What is the right age for a girl to grow breasts and get pubic hair?, What if I get my period at school?, and How do I tell my mom I want a bra?  Along with the objective facts and some statistics are many quotations from girls and women about their feelings about puberty and events that occurred to them during adolescence.  These include discussion of how women deal with sexual objectification and harassment, as well as shyness and embarrassment about unfamiliar bodily changes and concerns about what is normal.  The book includes advice about healthy living, including eating and exercising and some information about eating disorders.  All the advice in the book is sensible and clear, although of course, it only touched on some topics briefly, and so readers may want to consult other sources of information to understand particular issues in greater depth.  The final chapter is on Romantic and Sexual Feelings and sets out some of the worries girls have about dating and starting to become sexually active, and it includes some discussion of homosexuality and bisexuality.  There is a section on sexual crimes such as rape, date rape, and sexual abuse.  The book finishes with a short section listing resources, with addresses, phone numbers, URLs and e-mail addresses.  The writing is consistently is non-judgmental and reassuring, and this could certainly be a helpful book for teens and preteens who are looking for some basic information about all aspects of puberty.

 

Link: The What’s Happening to My Body? Book for Boys

 

© 2003 Christian Perring. All rights reserved.

Christian Perring, Ph.D., is Chair of the Philosophy Department at Dowling College, Long Island, and editor of Metapsychology Online Review. His main research is on philosophical issues in medicine, psychiatry and psychology.

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