RAISING YOUR CHILD TO BE A SEXUALLY HEALTHY ADULT by John; Jennifer Horsman & Bernard Schwartz Flowera


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Parents who have already adopted a liberal attitude toward sex will find little new here, and more timid moms and dads are likely to be appalled by many aspects of this approach to sexual development. Some of the advice is not to be faulted: maintain open communication (raise questions for discussion); decide on your view of ""appropriate sexual behavior"" (e.g., teenage intercourse); provide accurate information (naming body parts and explaining how babies are made). Much, however, is open to question--as to timing, explicitness, advisability in general. Flowers and Schwartz and Horsman advocate explaining the various methods of birth control to children between the ages of ten and 13; they endorse family nudity; they suggest that parents instruct their children in techniques of masturbation. The latter is elaborated in stilted simulated dialogues between father and son, and mother and daughter--as are ideas for counteracting rigid sex role stereotypes (""Oh no. Girls can be doctors, too. They make real good doctors""), encouraging sexual fantasy (they are ""the way our minds prepare us for growing up""), and helping youngsters decide ""how far to go physically."" More to the point are sections on helping children with interpersonal relationships and sex-related problems (sex as a battleground, pregnancy, VD, and homosexuality). This remains, nonetheless, a limited guide--far less solid and persuasive than Alayne Yates' Sex Without Shame (1978).

Pub Date: Feb. 5th, 1981
Publisher: Prentice-Hall