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Sexplained one – sex and Your Health

  • Comments (1)

Title: Sexplained one – sex and Your Health

Author: Helen J Knox

Publisher: KNOX Publishing

Reviewer:  Sue Southworth, research nurse, Ophthalmology

What was it like?

The book contains short pieces of information about various aspects of sexual health and disease. There appears to be a focus on disease, with a number of colour plates illustrating various skin, genital and oral conditions. It covers almost all subjects scantily. A link to further information on some of these subjects would have been useful.

Each small section of the book has a response from the author to a (presumably fictional) letter. These are interesting and perhaps include information that would be difficult to place elsewhere.

What were the highlights? 

The short pieces of information do mean than it is accessible. However the Sexplained Column Topic Guide didn’t make clear to what each topic referred and the layout and contents list were slightly confusing.

Strengths & weaknesses:

There appeared to be an overarching prurience/ moral overtone to the book, especially in the first few pages. There are no sources cited to substantiate claims such as “many men get HIV from unprotected one night stands”, in the book. However, this would perhaps be misplaced in this book.

Who should read it?

The back of the book suggests that this is for parents. The book provides an insight into issues of gender, sex and sexuality: I failed to find this in the book.

I certainly didn’t feel that I was the target audience (never having called periods “the curse” seemed to sideline me) nor was I convinced by the claims for teenagers and parents finding much to enlighten them. There is shock value in the book and there may, indeed be an audience for this.

I would imagine there are clearer guides written for health professional and so I am not convinced by them as a target audience either.

Overall, I found the book confusing and difficult to navigate. Some of the language and analogies used were disturbing and to my mind served to reinforce the moral overtones I felt in large sections of the book.


Sexplained one

  • Comments (1)

Readers' comments (1)

  • How interesting that someone not involved with Sexual Health in any way, has basically torn this book to shreds whilst this is the endorsement letter from the lead nurse of the sexual health department of a major London teaching hospital.

    "Dear Helen

    I thought you might like to know how useful our nurses and junior medics have found your book, Sexplained One – Sex & Your Health.

    As you know, I purchased a number of copies and gave them to each of our registered nurses and health care assistants as a gift, I also have a few copies we kept in clinic for use by the junior medics and visiting nursing and medical students.

    For our established nurses, the books acted as a refresher and each of them took a topic to present to the rest of the team during our weekly meetings. For our new nurses, we use the books as pre-reading before we begin history taking competencies.

    All our staff found the books to be pitched at an appropriate level for their understanding and found that the mix of text and clinical photographs useful and encouraged further reading. Our newer nurses especially liked the ‘agony aunt’ sections, as this helped them to gain an understanding of the types of questions patients ask and also showed them how to answer in an appropriate and professional manner.

    Congratulations on what we think is a brilliant book and resource, and we look forward to the next publication.

    Yours sincerely

    Lee Watson
    Lead Nurse for Sexual Health"

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