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Hardcover Teaching Sex: The Shaping of Adolescence in the 20th Century Book

ISBN: 067400227X

ISBN13: 9780674002272

Teaching Sex: The Shaping of Adolescence in the 20th Century

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Format: Hardcover

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Book Overview

Sex education, since its advent at the dawn of the twentieth century, has provoked the hopes and fears of generations of parents, educators, politicians, and reformers. On its success or failure seems... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

3 ratings

The history of lies and deceit

Teaching Sex begins with the "invention of the adolescent" by G. Stanley Hall with the publication of his two-volume book in 1904. Jeffrey P. Moran covers the war between the many factions in the "sexual revolution" and the on-going struggle to educate children about sex. And to indoctrinate the child in "proper sexual conduct," as well. My experience with formal sexual education began in 1969 at a rural Missouri sixth grade classroom. It continued until I graduated from high school, and then Marine Corps boot camp had a segment on venereal diseases. My formal "sex ed" training continues to this day with mandatory "sexual harassment training"--all of this education didn't meet my needs. Why? Teaching Sex explains part of it--that "sex ed" is a compromise between several mutually hostile factions. Moran documents the lies and miss-statements of these factions. Moran's conclusion: sexual education has been a failure. I have to agree. Read this book and get aquainted with the many different aspects of Teaching Sex.

Both sides hate it.. bravo!

If there's any more tiresome or useless squabble than America's endless war between advocates of abstinence and sex education, I can't imagine it. If this isn't depressing enough, Moran shows us today's moralist-vs-programmer quarrel is exactly the same that's been going on since 1910. Moran's history is great, but his last chapter is priceless for its laceration of both sides for their destructive obsession with what is a trivial argument--what we ludicrously call "teenage sex" is really a reflection of adult sexual behaviors, sex with adults, and socioeconomic status school teachings cannot erase. Schools: set the bowl of condoms next to the pet-your-dog-not-your-date chastity brochures and understand that the kids already know this "mixed message" accurately sums up America's sadly confused adult attitudes toward sex. Moran delineates this confusion brilliantly, and it's a sign of our stultified moralistic climate that his plague-on-both-your-houses treatise isn't a best seller and ticket to talk-show stardom.

Must know information for sex educators

Review by David S. Hall, Ph.D.The Author:Jeffrey P. Moran is an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Kansas. As a young historian, his research leading to this book should serve him well in the "publish or perish" academic environment. It is a comprehensive summary of a vast and complex subject.The Contents:Moran looks at the 20th century, wherein adolescence is invented by the renowned G. Stanley Hall, a psychologist and college president. Hall was 60 when his 1904 book "Adolescence" was published. It was the result of years of research and much creative interpretation. This was a time in the cultural development of the U.S. where the period between puberty and marriage was increasing and youth were becoming aware of their "separateness as a group from adult culture". Hall, a product of the Victorian era, built his ideas of adolescence on a solid foundation of 19th century morality, i.e. chastity, self-denial, and especially avoidance of "self-pollution".The end of the 19th century also saw well over half of school age American children enrolled in public or private schools, thus their separation from the adult world was becoming more complete. While puberty was occurring earlier, marriage was occurring later, as late as 29-31 for college graduates. Chastity during this time of life was seen as the great evolutionary factor that led to a higher civilization. The racial and class superiority this proclaimed was not overlooked in this era of high immigration. Moran's description of this interpretation of Darwinism is enlightening. Broadly stated, "repression was the price that the race had to pay to retain its superiority."In parallel to Hall's work, Dr. Prince Morrow published "Social Diseases and Marriage". This book, and Morrow's hard work, attempted to overcome the denial about, and unwillingness to speak about, venereal diseases. While many in that era believed that venereal diseases were the proper wages of sin (not unlike the AIDS crisis of the late 1980's) a movement toward social hygiene was growing to protect the innocent victims, the wives and children of the infected sinners. Along the way, scientists and educators joined forces to use the public education system to do what the family and church were failing to do, provide social hygiene education. This was not sex education, but fear based measures, suppression of sexual materials (Comstock, et al), and suppression of prostitution (Mann Act). The Victorian idea that a child's pure mind must not be contaminated with any ideas or visions of sex included all of life until marriage. The conspiracy of silence was strong.The balance of the book documents the century long struggle between those who would provide information about sex and those who would protect the innocent child from moral corruption. Fear based and shame based "sex" education has a long history. We who fight the battles would do well to understand this background. We will see much more
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