Sex-ed book now available in Spanish

The cutting-edge resource that redefined American sex education is now available in Spanish. "La guía esencial sobre sexualidad adolescente" (Fairview Press, $16.95) is the new, Spanish-language edition of Michael J. Basso's "Underground Guide to Teenage Sexuality."

As with the English-language edition, "La guía esencial sobre sexualidad adolescente" covers the topics teens want to know about most, what parents wish they could talk openly about, and what no one has delivered despite decades of health disparities within the Hispanic community.

Topics include sexual anatomy, healthy versus unhealthy relationships, conception, contraception, STDs and HIV/AIDS, abstinence, preventing sexual assault, homosexuality, mental health and sexuality, self-esteem, teen-parent dialogues and more.

The translation is the fulfillment of an eight-year quest for Basso, and he already has a new dream: for the book to be a catalyst for improved health and sex education for Hispanic teens and their parents.

"Sex is often times a four-letter word in many households, and that is especially true in many of the Hispanic cultures," says Basso. "'La guía esencial sobre sexualidad adolescente' uses science and reality-based recommendations that respect parental and familial diversity, while also helping teens make their own informed decisions."

Basso was a health and sexuality educator in the inner-city high schools of Miami for nearly a decade. He is now a health scientist and public health adviser at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

The process of delivering a resource that is culturally sensitive, factual and appropriate for low-level readers was only part of the challenge.

"La guía esencial sobre sexualidad adolescente" also needed to address the myriad dialects that encompass the Spanish language.

To overcome these challenges, reviewers of various ages, backgrounds and education levels from numerous South America and Caribbean cultures were utilized to create a "universally" understood Spanish text. The result is a resource that meets the immediate health and sexuality information needs of Hispanic youth in a language they can understand.

n Steve Deger, of Fairview Press, can be reached at (612) 672-4774.


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