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(1971-72). Sex and Society in Sweden, Birgitte Linnér, with Richard J. Litell. New York: Pantheon Books, 1967. xvii+ 204.. Psychoanal. Rev., 58(4):649.

(1971-72). Psychoanalytic Review, 58(4):649

Sex and Society in Sweden, Birgitte Linnér, with Richard J. Litell. New York: Pantheon Books, 1967. xvii+ 204.

Instead of letting children believe in the stork, and filling them with feelings of shame, embarrassment and guilt, Scandinavia has successfully inaugurated educational programs where school children, according to their level of comprehension, are taught “the facts of life.” This volume relates in detail the sex education of children in Sweden.

The author discusses topics such as sex and society, sexual behavior in contemporary Sweden, the Swedish solution to problems such as divorce and illegitimacy, Sweden as a welfare state, family planning and birth control, abortion and its respective laws, policies and reforms, venereal disease and prostitution. The book also alludes to pamphlets written exclusively for sex educational purposes. Beginning with the age of six and continuing into adulthood, various aspects of sexual functioning are discussed. The chapters on sexual coexistence and on parents talking with and to their children are specially helpful in lighting up “dark corners.”

The sexual climate in Sweden will not automatically change our way of thinking, but Scandinavia has courageously pointed the way which we hope to follow in times to come. This is not a psychoanalytic book, but it has been reviewed here because the psychoanalyst may wish to recommend it to troubled parents.


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