WHAT GIRLS WANT TO KNOW ABOUT BOYS; WHAT BOYS WANT TO KNOW ABOUT GIRLS by Joan Horvath

WHAT GIRLS WANT TO KNOW ABOUT BOYS; WHAT BOYS WANT TO KNOW ABOUT GIRLS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Two books in one binding--opening upside down and at opposite covers from each other--is, if you believe Horvath's interviews, about as close as peer-dominated fourteen-year-olds are likely to get to rapprochement. Kids who haven't a clue as to what the other camp is thinking could well learn something here; and the communication gap among the younger teens seems to be as wide as ever, with Victorian role models still the rule, though one boy gallantly acknowledges that ""girls like to think they're equal"" and by sixteen a greater flexibility prevails. However, the managed questions and judgmental commentary (Horvath variously praises and bemoans the attitudes expressed) come out sounding too much like an official guidance counselor line. Most curious of all are the fourteen-year-old boys who say they don't masturbate, while the girls (who aren't asked) seem eager to confide fantasies which are too quickly labeled romantic rather than sexual. Not that the generalizations--about male vs. female sexuality, premarital sex, etc.--aren't largely true, but we wouldn't place any faith in the ability of this sympathetic but unscientific interrogator to transcend them, and you can bet that this is only the top fifth of what any streetcorner eavesdropper might pick up.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1976
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Nelson