TEENAGE SEXUALITY: A Survey of Teenage Sexual Behavior by Aaron Hass

TEENAGE SEXUALITY: A Survey of Teenage Sexual Behavior

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Teenage sexuality"" encompasses a wide field; too bad researcher Aaron Hass, of UCLA medical school's psychiatry dept., devoted his questionnaire survey to sensational aspects like oral sex and masturbation instead of tackling the common problems of venereal disease and pregnancy. Even more dismaying than the survey's emphasis are the quotes from the 625 participants: no matter what the issue or stance, most of them sound as if they derive from a single source. Ostensibly, hearing their ""peers talk frankly and openly about their sexuality"" will relieve kids' anxieties and provide them with information. Yet bland, faceless pronouncements like ""I was in love with the guy I lost my virginity to, so I wasn't upset about it,"" are neither instructive nor comforting. And how is a confused teenager to make use of statistics that categorize without offering methods for coping, as in ""Thirty-three percent of the adolescent girls reported not being sure if they ever had an orgasm."" Hass discovered fewer hang-ups on the part of boys, which he unoriginally attributes to traditional sex roles; and fewer among older girls (17-18) than among younger (15-16), which he mindlessly chalks up to ""experience."" There is one genuine surprise: the participants' values were seldom ""casual"" and ""indiscriminate""; most saw sex as part of a bond of intimacy. In general, though, a hollow exercise.

Pub Date: Oct. 26th, 1979
Publisher: Macmillan