I would recommend a book written by Joe S. McIlhaney Jr., Freda McKissic Bush, and Stan Guthrie titled, “Girls Uncovered: New Research on What America’s Sexual Culture Does to Young Women.” I was provided a copy of the book in a special pre-release directly from Moody Publishers for review purposes. You can pre-order a paperback copy for under $10 at Amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com/Girls-Uncovered-Research-Americas-Culture/dp/0802462987/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1330322601&sr=8-1) or directly from the publisher at http://www.moodypublishers.com/pub_productDetail.aspx?id=41830&pid=78818.
The most enlightening chapter was focused on emotional attachment. The authors mention the power behind the hormone known as oxytocin which “is released when a women is in labor. It circulates via the blood to her uterus and helps make her contractions strong enough to push her baby out. But oxytocin doesn’t stop there. It continues to be produced after delivery. It causes the mother’s milk to be ‘let down’ and continues to do so for as long as she nurses. But from birth on oxytocin plays yet another amazing role: It appears to help the mother ‘connect’ or ‘bond’ with her baby. It has been shown that when the baby and mother are skin to skin immediately after birth, a large amount of oxytocin releases from the mother’s pituitary. This seems to facilitate bonding to the baby” (60).”
The authors suggests, “It is not just a play on words to say that sex and connectedness are integral to each other. As a matter of fact, sex IS an intense experience in the mind – an experience of deep connection. We mentioned earlier that oxytocin is released when a baby and mother are skin to skin, and that oxytocin causes an intense emotional attachment. Interestingly, oxytocin does not only release into a woman’s body when a baby is born. It also happens when she has close physical contact with a man, such as hugging, holding hands, massaging, or cuddling – and, of course, during sex. Research seems to show that oxytocin in these cases has the same impact on her brain function as it does with cuddling a baby – the affected girl bonds to the guy” (61).
In conclusion, the authors propose, “Sex, including the attachment it can produce, can be and often is hijacked from its original purpose. As with almost any human characteristic, such as our need to eat, distortion of a healthy drive can cause real and sometimes life-altering problems. Sex can be healthy and fulfilling or unhealthy and destructive” (62).
Official Book Description: Any parent can identify with the feeling that girls growing up in America face a treacherous future; Uncovered Girls unveils the facts. In a follow up to their eye-opening release, Hooked, obstetricians Joe McIlhaney and Freda Bush present stunning scientific research on the development of young girls in America’s increasingly reckless sexual culture. They survey the reality of prevalent sexual behaviors and attitudes as well as their psychological, social, physical, and spiritual effects. Despite the harrowing facts revealed by their studies, McIlhaney and Bush give us hope through their expertise as physicians and parents of daughters. Girls Uncovered provides fundamental wisdom and practical advice to help parents, counselors, and church leaders guide young girls safely through the challenges they will face so they can achieve their potential and enjoy full health, hope and happiness.
Official Author Biographies: JOE S. MCILHANEY JR., M.D., is a board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist. In 2001, Dr. McIlhaney was appointed to the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS. He also serves on the Advisory Committee to the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. McIlhaney has co-authored over six books including Hooked: New Science on How Casual Sex is Affecting Our Children, and 1001 Health-Care Questions Women Ask. Dr. McIlhaney resides in Austin, Texas with his wife, Marion.
About Mr. & Mrs. Freda McKissic Bush, MD
FREDA MCKISSIC BUSH, M.D., is a board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist and a partner in private practice with East Lakeland OB-GYN Associates in Jackson, Mississippi. She currently serves as Medical Director of the Center for Pregnancy Choices Metro Jackson and the Henry M. Johnson Women’s Resource Crisis Pregnancy Center. Freda spends much of her time speaking on sexuality and social behavior education. Her passion is to help women “raise a standard” to become who they were created to be. To that end, she teaches and encourages a lifestyle of abstinence until marriage and fidelity within marriage. She co-authored her first book, Hooked, with Dr. Joe S. McIlhaney, in 2008.
With Stan Guthrie
STAN GUTHRIE is an editor at large for Christianity Today magazine. His most recent book, All that Jesus Asks: How His Questions Can Teach and Transform Us, was released by Baker. He is author of Missions in the Third Millennium: 21 Key Trends for the 21st Century. Besides authoring, writing, and editing books, Stan is a literary agent, bringing together good authors, good books, and good publishers.