March 4, 2014 at 7:36 AM ET
In "Being a Teen," Jane Fonda helps cut through the fog and mythology of teenage sexuality and identity with some frank, straight talk about growth and development that will help teens and parents alike. Here's an excerpt.
What This Book Is All About
Your Developing Identity
This is an important time in your life. Who you are as a person—your identity—is being developed, and you are beginning your lifelong journey of personal sexual understanding and expression. By identity, I mean your values, your beliefs, what you like and don’t like, how you treat others, and how you treat yourself. Yet this is also a time when there are so many pressures to be how others want you to be. You may be tempted to be different from who you really are so that you’ll be popular with a certain group, or seem cool.
Sexuality is not just about body parts, STIs, and contraception. It is also a large part of a person’s identity, and that is why this book is also about relationships and feelings. How you understand and deal with them will help form your identity. I also write about the media and culture because they, too, can influence your identity—and not always for the good.
Adolescence is the gateway to adulthood, a stage of life filled with changes, with its own unique joys and challenges. In this book, I’ve tried to address the whole you, all the different parts—the physical, mental, and emotional things that are part of the adult person you are becoming.
Key Ideas I Hope You’ll Learn
Here are the key ideas I hope you’ll learn from this book:
This Is a “Dip-in” Book
You don’t need to read this book from start to finish—although I hope you will. You may prefer to dip in and out of this book, or read the parts you most want to know about. Flipping to topics of particular interest to you is fine, and I’ve structured the book that way. I hope you enjoy it and learn from it.
Excerpted from Being a Teen by Jane Fonda Copyright © 2014 by Jane Fonda. Excerpted by permission of Random House Trade Paperbacks, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.