Written by two doctors, Hooked is professional, informative, and well referenced. "In the past, medical recommendations for sexual behavior were based on science that didn't have the benefit of today's research and technology. MRI and other sophisticated brain imaging tools were not available until recent years. Consquently, societal recommendations about this important area of life did not account for the powerful and verifiable connection between sex and brain function; and they were based mroe on personal philosophy, prejudice, and ideology rather than any verifiable science. (138)" Neuroscientists have been studying the chemicals released, the bonds being formed, and rates of addiction and brain development pertaining to sexual activity in different contexts. We've all heard of dopamine, the 'feel-good-reward' chemical our brains release, and it shouldn't be a surprise to us that "Sex is one of the strongest generators of the dopamine reward. (32)" What did surprise me, was the comparison and contrast between casual sex and sex within the confines of a monogamous marriage. Being someone who lived with my fiance prior to marrying the love of my life, I found the studies regarding the lifestyle choice of cohabitating intriguing.
I chose to read this book because I hoped it would give me some reference points for discussions with my children as they reach their teen years. While the writing was not always the most engaging, valuable information was presented clearly and the book has earned its place on my shelf as a 'keeper.' It's not one I'll likely re-read anytime soon, but having it available for reference, or for curious minds to sneek a peek into and learn some facts about how their bodies work seems wise. I did wish the section on pornography were more detailed, I felt that it was a very brief mention of a subject which has a grip on our nation and damages individuals' identities, relationships, and families.
I would recommend this book to anyone working with people pre-teen and older, especially parents, counselors, educators, and those in ministry because they often have the unique opportunity to give guidance and recommend making healthy choices. I appreciated that this book did not present a judgmental or condemning view of people with various pasts in terms of their sexual experiences, but rather examined the scientific evidence and discussed that we can all learn something about how our experiences have impacted us. "We know sex involves the entire individual. Perhaps the most damaging philosophy about sex in recent years has been the attempt to separate sex from the whole person. Neuroscientific evidence has revealed this approach to be not only false but also dangerous. (141)."
**In the interest of full-disclosure, I received a copy of this book from Moody Publishers Newsroom for the purpose of reviewing. I am not required to give a positive review or in any way compensated, my opinions expressed are genuine.