Nearly half of American teenagers have engaged in sexual intercourse before their eighteenth birthday. Despite significant declines in the number of teen pregnancies in recent years, the rate of teenage pregnancies in the United States is still double that of most developed nations. Although they represent only a fourth of the sexually active population, young adults, aged 15 to 24, account for nearly half of the 18.9 million sexually transmitted infections reported in the United States each year. In short, there are compelling reasons to provide young audiences with open, informative discussions of sex and sexuality. This new guide does precisely that, frankly exploring sexual attitudes, norms and practices in both American society and around the world. The 246, expert-written essays address a wide variety of issues. The biological basis of sex is defined in articles on sexual development, reproduction, puberty, sex drive and sexual differentiation. From arousal and celibacy to promiscuity and repression, sexual behaviors, practices, and diseases are explained. Questions of health, medicine and education are illuminated in entries on contraceptive methods, family planning, infant care and sex therapy. Essays on dating, fidelity, flirting, romance and sex appeal explore the nature of relationships. Legal issues are delineated in discussions of age of consent, date rape, harassment, obscenity and predation. Cultural influences on expressions of sexuality are given particular attention. Many entries review the representation of sexuality in advertising, art, literature, movies, television and other media. Others examine cultural, historical and religious attitudes towards sex. Also demonstrated are the roles of divorce, fashion, gangs, morals, peer influences and other cultural factors in shaping sexual attitudes. As aids to research, a brief glossary, select bibliography and the general index are repeated in each volume. The result is an informative guide to the many ramifications of sex in our society. This set will prove especially useful in school and public libraries for audiences from high school to adult.