TALKING TO CHILDREN ABOUT SEX by Edna S Lehman

TALKING TO CHILDREN ABOUT SEX

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A bloodless, humorless, high-minded presentation of model sex education in the home and school--the author has taught and planned curricula for the Evanston Public Schools. Unfortunately scoffers from Missouri may giggle occasionally. It takes a nerveless mother indeed to intone to a toddler: ""These are my breasts. God made women to be mothers and they all have breasts."" The author covers toddler-through-twelfth year, with examples of ideal exchanges in home and school. The emphasis is on honesty, accuracy of physiological information (from bean seeds to human reproduction) and--heaven help us all--correct vocabulary. The main difficulty here lies in the assumption that the child given complete information will of necessity react reasonably and come to all the correct conclusions (ignoring the sad truth that the Devil can quote Scripture). For example, in discussing the matter of sexual relations between just matured, unmarried young people, the Teacher asks: ""Why do you suppose they would do such a thing?"" Instead of raucous shrieking, the youngsters here conclude: ""Yeah, it's not only dirty, it's dumb, too."" Dumb it is, but whence ""dirty"" in regard to bodily functions? (Someone hasn't been listening.) Sex, we learn, exists for the purpose of producing children and expressing married love. Eine for the young child, but for the pre-adolescent, fired by external cultural stimuli and his own accelerating drives, the ignoring of such pressures seems to defeat honesty--and trust.

Pub Date: Feb. 11th, 1969
Publisher: Harper & Row