Guiding girls through "complicated" modern hookup culture

Guiding teen girls through love, relationships

In the Netherlands, the pregnancy rate among teen girls is significantly lower than in the United States.

That is in part because of the nature of the conversations teens are having with their parents, according to Peggy Orenstein, author of "Girls & Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape."

"The really big difference is that the parents -- while they're equally comfortable about talking about sex -- American parents only talk about the risk and dangers and in the Netherlands they talk about how to balance the joy and the responsibility."

Orenstein's book explores teen girls' minds and views on casual sex, love and relationships based on her interview of more than 70 young women between the ages 15 and 20. Orenstein acknowledged that at first, conducting the interviews was difficult, even for her.

Navigating life's highs and lows with teenage girls

"I totally blew them... but once I got used to it, once I suspended that judgment and really could listen to the girls, then it was great and they were so happy and I could bring their voices back so that parents and girls could read them and really start that conversation," Orenstein told "CBS This Morning" Tuesday.

Orenstein asserted the need to broaden the definition of "sex," because it no longer means solely intercourse.

"When we don't talk about say, oral sex, that opens the door for coercion and lack of reciprocity and disrespect," Orenstein said.

Other words such as "talking" or "hooking up" - which Orenstein said was completely "meaningless" - also have ambiguous meanings that can be confusing for both adults and teens.

"It might mean kissing, it might mean sex, it might mean oral sex - it could mean anything," Orenstein said.

The book includes quotes from girls that sheds light on the increasing pressures girls face today. One girl described sex as two "negatives," saying you were either a "slut or prude" trying to find the middle ground.

Orenstein also observed a disconnect between the girls in their public and private lives. While she described the girls she interviewed as "ambitious," "high-powered," and "educated," she said those qualities did not translate into their love lives.

"One girl said to me 'I come from generations of really powerful women and I'm really powerful....' And then she told me about these handful of casual hookups, not very reciprocal, not very satisfying for her and she said that, 'But I guess girls are just trained to be meek and mild and not express their wants,'" Orenstein recalled. "'And I said, 'You just said you're a strong woman,' to which the girl replied, 'Yeah nobody told me that that applied to sex.'"

While Orenstein said the understanding of consent and sexual assault is growing with more victims speaking out, she recounted an example of one girl who told her rapist "Thank you, I had a great time," when she was dropped off at her dorm the next morning.

"And she doesn't even know why she says it," Orenstein said.

To combat this, Orenstein urges that adults "break the silence first."

"We have to change the way that we talk to the kids," Orenstein said, to address not just the risks and dangers of sex but "what they're entitled to."

"That they're entitled to reciprocity, that they're entitled to ethical behavior, that they're entitled to pleasure and to be able to express their needs and wants and limits and have those respected," Orenstein said. "Their early sexual experience shouldn't be something that they have to get over."