Sol Gordon Critical Essays

Introduction

Sol Gordon 1923–

American nonfiction writer, psychologist, editor, and teacher.

Gordon is a clinical psychologist who writes books for young adults and younger children in which he candidly discusses the physical aspects of sex and the sexual roles of young people. Gordon often defines and explains four-letter words in his books, reasoning that young people who understand the words will be less likely to include them in their everyday speech. Gordon's frankness has alienated some critics, who contend that he is trying to conceal a basic lack of direction in his books. Others, however, find Gordon's approach fresh and attractive to young adults.

Facts about Sex: A Basic Guide (retitled Facts about Sex for Today's Youth) is probably Gordon's most widely read book. In it he tries to clear up the confusion that many young people have toward their sexuality by discussing sympathetically and without condescension premarital sex, homosexuality, contraception, and venereal disease. You!, which has been revised as The Teenage Survival Book, continues along the same lines. Written with Roger Conant, it includes drawings and cartoons to lighten the mood, yet still offers helpful information. You Would If You Loved Me comprises a list of seductive phrases used by boys and advice to help girls cope with such sexual advances.

(See also Contemporary Authors, Vols. 53-56; Contemporary Authors New Revision Series, Vol. 4; and Something about the Author, Vol. 11.)