NONFICTION

Respect: Everything a Guy Needs to Know About Sex, Love, and Consent

Penguin. Aug. 2019. 224p. pap. $16. ISBN 9780143134251.
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Gr 9 Up–The author, a Swedish sex educator and Swedish Agency for Youth and Civil Society advisory council member, explores a range of thoughtfully organized topics, with larger topic headings such as “You,” “Girls,” “Love,” “Respect,” “Sex—The Basics,” “Straight or Gay?” and “Feeling Good.” Each topic is broken down into smaller subtopics, encompassing a broad range of experiences, including occasional statistics and stories from young men with whom Perez has worked. The general tone of the book is conversational and informal, with Perez taking the role of a casual mentor. It is refreshing to see how consent is positioned at the forefront of each topic and subtopic. Though some sections are focused on dating and sleeping with guys or girls, the whole text is written to be applicable to all cis men, no matter who they are interested in—most sections describe the “person you are interested in” rather than presuming a specific gender. That said, while transgender people are mentioned briefly and positively, the book presumes cisgender as the default setting for both its’ readers and the people that they are interested in.
VERDICT At times, the chapters feel almost too informal or unsupported by facts, something that is not helped by translation. That said, Perez does a great deal to combat toxic masculinity and celebrate intimacy, and this consent-centered book certainly fills a need. Recommended for collections serving older teens.

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