THE JANUS REPORT ON SEXUAL BEHAVIOR by Samuel S. Janus

THE JANUS REPORT ON SEXUAL BEHAVIOR

KIRKUS REVIEW

 In the tradition of Kinsey and Masters & Johnson--an exhaustive survey/interpretation of sex in America. The husband- and-wife Januses (he: Psychology/New York Medical College and The Death of Innocence, 1981, etc.; she: formerly, Obstetrics/University of Virginia) scatter 280 tables between their covers, but the text itself is eminently readable, consisting primarily of an intelligent and informed discussion of the answers provided by 2,765 respondents to a questionnaire. In addition, the authors conducted 125 in-depth interviews, quoted at length. So what's new? Nothing too earthshaking--AIDS has made an impact (though ``more respondents reported increased sex activity in the past 3 years than reported decreased sex activity''); sex among ``postmature'' (i.e., 65+) individuals is prevalent; many Americans experiment sexually one way or another, but monogamous sex seems to be the norm; the weirdest sex practices remain taboo (``Necrophilia is rare. Almost universally, Americans regard it as objectionable and firmly reject it''); religious beliefs, more often than not, don't impede sexual practices (69% of Catholic women reported using contraceptives); men, generally, are more sexually adventurous than women (``14% of men 65 and over reported daily sexual activity,'' the authors tell us, ``compared to only 1% of women in that age group''). And so on--with every ramification (political, economic, religious, etc.), permutation, and mutation of sex queried and talked about at length--making this not only a serious sociological study but also a likely wellspring for talk-show and other media fodder: Expect high interest. (First serial to Redbook and Playboy)

Pub Date: Feb. 23rd, 1993
ISBN: 0-471-52540-5
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Wiley
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 1993