"A Bible created especially for girls age 13-16 that includes profiles of fictional teenagers discussing oral sex, lesbianism and "dream" guys is drawing sharp criticism from some Christian parents who say such material should not appear alongside Scripture.
The "True Images" Bible, published by Zondervan, promises on its dustcover to "strengthen your relationship with God, family, friends and guys.
The "In Focus" article on sex appears amidst scriptural regulations on offerings in the book of Leviticus. It profiles the fictional girl "Ashley" and is entitled "Casual or Not?"
While the message of the profile is to save sex for marriage, critics aren't convinced the frank-talk approach is appropriate for young teens.
Discussing her friend "Emma," Ashley says, "The story is that she had oral sex with a guy friend of ours last week. Just for fun. They're not dating, although they've always flirted with each other a lot. Emma took one look at my face this morning, and she knew I knew."
Emma goes on to claim that oral sex "is not even sex," but Ashley disagrees, saying, "God's definition of sexual purity covers much more than intercourse."
Following Ashley's narrative is a warning that "the physical and emotional effects of oral sex are similar to intercourse," along with tips for dealing with friends who are engaging in the practice."