Review - Generation S.L.U.T.
This is a very difficult book. But an important one if we want to understand our teens. Marty Beckerman's Generation S.L.U.T. (2004, MTV Books/Pocket Books, ISBN #0-7434-7109-1) is an extremely graphic work mixing fiction with non-fiction, written when the author was only 18. He weaves his own experiences, and those of others, into the "fictional" part of the book as he tells of a group of teens whose lives are marked by sexual excess, drug and alcohol abuse, depression, self-mutilation, eating disorders, poor body image, materialism, and more. The "S.L.U.T." in the title stands for "sexually liberated urban teens" but includes some who are even pre-teens.
Beckerman peppers the book with actual statistics and quotes from teens that mirror his story. Despite its graphic nature, this book is not designed to arouse or titillate. Rather, it shocks and saddens as you realize the depth of the emptiness in many teens' lives. And while he seems to have little desire to forsake his own excessive lifestyle, Beckerman realizes that something is wrong. Unfortunately he doesn't have the answers. He addresses the problems of peer and parental pressure and says, "there's a hell of a lot to be angry about as an American teenager today: Our generation is one that values appearance, athletic accomplishment and sexual conquest far more than anything of substance, and those of us who don't conform to the standard mold are routinely excluded and mocked for our deviation." He also notes that for teens, promiscuity "is not only expected … but respected."
This book is a wake-up call directly from the mouth of Gen Y. Our teens are searching, but they are trying to fill their God-shaped vacuum with things that just don't work. We need to recognize their emptiness, point them in the right direction and help them fill that hole with the Truth.
- Ken Mueller
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©2004, The Center for Parent/Youth Understanding