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Dr. Pomeroy anticipates more objection to this book than to its mate, Boys and Sex, and if it materializes, the cause -- beyond the traditional romanticization of the female role -- will be his implicit (and explicit) encouragement of masturbation. Acknowledging that it is uncommon among adolescent girls, he proceeds to extol it as practice in achieving orgasm. That girls who have masturbated subsequently enjoy superior sexual relations is a contention that can be questioned; certainly the author is acting, in this regard, not as a counselor assisting adjustment to what is but an advocate of what should be. There is also, considering the admittedly small incidence of homosexuality at this age, rather extensive treatment of its particulars; but the chapter does emphasize that one contact does not a lesbian make. The foregoing seems ill-advised and sometimes tasteless; the balance -- and bulk -- of the book discusses the more common heterosexual span from dating to intercourse and its consequences concretely and informatively but not insensitively. Particular attention is paid to the different expectations and responses of boys and girls; to the teenage practicality of various methods of contraception; to abortion, its availability and dangers (don't do it yourself, do tell your parents); to venereal disease, usually slighted in books for girls. By Dr. Pomeroy's own outmoded designation, the book may be considered ""permissive"" in some circles; in others it will be regarded as straightforward and salutary except perhaps where it exceeds mere honesty to exhort.

Pub Date: Nov. 4th, 1969
Publisher: Delacorte