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Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 27th May 2016 > PEGGY SUE GOT SEXTED


For her new book, Nancy Jo Sales spoke to 200 teen girls. The takeaway: Many of them feel constantly harassed about sex


NANCY JO SALES has a special gift: the ability to talk—really talk—to teenagers. From New York City rap hipsters to the notorious, fame-obsessed teen burglars that Sales dubbed “the Bling Ring,” the author and veteran journalist can get teenagers to open up about almost anything.

For her new book, American Girls: Social Media and the Secret Lives of Teenagers, Sales spent two years on the road listening to over 200 teenage girls talk about what plagues them today. Sales, the mother of a high school freshman, has delivered a harrowing compendium of anecdotes about coming of age in an era of mainstream sexualization, slut shaming, online porn and cyberbullying. She spoke to Newsweek about why she wrote the book and what she learned about preparing teen girls— including her own—to grow up female online.

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The Teenagers - Ask a bedraggled parent “What do teens think?” and you just might get, “They think?” But what they know and feel and do is vitally important. After all, they are the future. Just maybe not yours.