For generations, mothers and daughters have struggled to say the right thing -- or have said nothing at all -- when the time has come to discuss sex. VENUS IN BLUE JEANS brings refreshing hope and guidance for every mother who has been undone by such questions as "Mom, what’s French kissing" or "What’s oral sex?" or who has agonized over her teenage daughter’s newfound interest in boys. In this wise and radiant book, Nathalie Bartle tackles some of the toughest topics of sexual education: What do girls know about sex? When is the right time to begin talking with them about sex? How can mothers get the conversation right? Today’s teenagers face enormous pressures to become sexually active; by age nineteen more than 50 percent of American girls have had intercourse. From billboards to cyberspace, society is awash in sexual images. Parents assume that teens possess abundant sexual knowledge, but information gleaned from the media or the teenage grapevine can be woefully inaccurate: many teens list AIDS as the only sexually transmitted disease; others assume they can’t get pregnant "the first time." We need a new dialogue for this generation of young women, Bartle argues. Combining her own stories of raising a daughter with the generously honest voices of mothers and daughters who have struggled firsthand with this topic, she illuminates the invaluable role that mothers can play in their daughters’ sexual education -- without encouraging them to be sexually active. Adolescent girls crave information, but they may be too afraid or embarrassed to ask for it, worried that their moms will think less of them or assume they are preparing for sex. The rich stories here help dispel common myths, encourage candid conversation, and reveal the importance of placing sexual information within the broader context of relationships and a moral framework. Filled with strategies, keen understanding, and a warm sense of humor, VENUS IN BLUE JEANS will inspire mothers and others to persevere with these vital conversations and will empower girls to think of their sexuality as a natural part of adolescence rather than something they need be defiant about or shamed by. This is an indispensable book for anyone concerned with guiding today’s young women safely through the upsets, infatuations, and intimacies of adolescence.