Developing a healthy sexual response in childhood is the best insurance against adult sexual dysfunction, and Dr. Yates provides a candid, comprehensive discussion of the subject which many parents will appreciate. A child psychiatrist and mother of 13, she surveys historical attitudes, contrasts the polar opposite practices of Polynesian Mangaia and Irish Inis Beag, shows up most of the popular parenting guides as inadequate or silly (""To a toddler, his penis is no more inherently interesting than his finger or his toes""), and demonstrates how well-meaning families inadvertently squelch childhood eroticism. She also suggests general attitudes and parental responses for encouraging healthy sexuality, offering reassurance to those changing gears (""at first, the parent learns more than the child"") and full recognition of temperamental variations. Using case histories and verification from many authorities, she disputes several widespread assumptions, maintaining that incest is not always damaging and that early sexual experimentation will not promote promiscuity or erode morality. Lucid and persuasive.