Full of useful information and strong in specific areas, this earnest guide won't satisfy everyone, but it is a solid,...

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THE FAMILY BOOK ABOUT SEXUALITY

Full of useful information and strong in specific areas, this earnest guide won't satisfy everyone, but it is a solid, slightly skewed resource for parents who share the conviction that the family is ""the best setting"" for learning about sexuality. Calderone and Johnson, successful authors in this field, have included both a detailed overview of basic issues--from which parents could generate more extensive family discussions--and short encyclopedic entries for quick reference (AC-DC; heart trouble and sex; pheromones; saltpeter). There are sensitive sections on the sexual needs of the disabled and the elderly, and on homosexual orientation; there are clear distinctions made between sexual response systems and reproduction systems; and there is up-to-date information on the process of sexualization--family life and other influences. Moreover, the authors acknowledge Lawrence Kohiberg's contribution, derived from his research on moral development, and they seem familiar with Anne Bernstein's work on children's changing cognitive capacities (The Flight of the Stork, 1978). Sex education remains a polarizer, and the authors' positions--in favor of birth control and the option of abortion, for example--are not concealed. Also, they tend to minimize how difficult it is for parents unaccustomed to talking about sex to initiate discussions and remain available to their children. But the guidelines they provide are essentially helpful (""human beings are unique among animals in being able to make decisions about their sexual and reproductive behaviors""), and the format puts relevant topics within easy reach.

Pub Date: Feb. 16, 1980

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1980