UNDERSTANDING SEXUAL IDENTITY: A Book for Gay Teens and Their Friends by Janice E. Rench

UNDERSTANDING SEXUAL IDENTITY: A Book for Gay Teens and Their Friends

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A heterosexual social worker who counsels gay and lesbian teens addresses the issue of healthy sexuality as it relates to scientific knowledge about homosexuality, self-esteem, the attitudes of others, and coming out. A foreword by Kevin Berrill of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force cites the importance of positive role models and sets the tone: information and education lead to less discrimination. Rench discusses the myths of gender characteristics, clarifies what the Bible and churches really say about homosexuality, and follows the progress of young teens coming out. Since the intended audience includes the later elementary-school age, the teen-agers are not yet sexually active. They abide by ""4 Rs--respect, responsibility, reaction, and restraint."" The question ""What do gay couples do together?"" is answered accurately but vaguely: ""Basically, all human beings do a variation of the same things. . .kissing, touching, caressing each other's body, and holding each other close."" While this has less depth and feeling than When Someone You Know ls Gay (1989), by Susan and Daniel Cohen, it is both informative and sympathetic, a slimmer volume suitable for the younger teens. Since homosexuals often realize their difference early, it's helpful to have a book for this age group. Resources; bibliography; index.

Pub Date: Oct. 30th, 1990
Page count: 56pp
Publisher: Lerner