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Gerard, M.W. (1943). Sex Education: Facts and Attitudes: New York: Child Study Association of America, 1937. Revised 1940. 64 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 12:131-133.

(1943). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 12:131-133

Sex Education: Facts and Attitudes: New York: Child Study Association of America, 1937. Revised 1940. 64 pp.

Review by:
Margaret W. Gerard

This pamphlet is a compilation of eight articles, by various authors, on sex education six of which have been published in issues of Child Study. A foreword by Marion Kenworthy explains the need for sexual education of the young as a necessary preliminary for the development of emotional balance in adult life. This is followed by eight short articles upon various phases of the subject: A New Approach to Sex Education by Cecile Pilpel, Sex Interest in Young Children by Anna W. M. Wolf, The Technique of Sex Education by Fritz Redl, Parents and Sex Education by Leonard Blumgart, Schools and Sex Education by Benjamin C. Gruenberg, Concerning Masturbation by the Staff of The Child Study Association, Sex in Adolescence by Floyd Dell, the Discipline of Sex by Edward L. Sapir, and finally a well selected list of books on sex education.

There is, as one might expect, much duplication of content in the articles, but this similarity of the trends of thought on the subject indicates that there is a consensus of present day opinion upon the necessity for, and the mode of imparting sex information. The opinions, in most instances, show psychoanalytic knowledge concerning the sexual development of the young child and give proper importance to the influence upon personality development of sexual taboos, secrecy, and distorted sexual information. The importance of answering a child's questions as they arise, and in an objective way, is stressed by Wolf and Redl. Wolf also discusses the lack of wisdom in flooding a child suddenly with too much information thus causing confusion, and the dangers of direct contact with adult sexuality as in witnessing the primal scene, naked adult bodies, and so forth.

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