Sol Gordon Patty Campbell - Essay

Patty Campbell

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Facts About Sex for Today's Youth by Sol Gordon has been the best simple book on the subject since 1969, when it was first published. Its straightforward, primer-easy text makes it useful with unskilled or unwilling readers, but its honesty and lack of condescension and the joyful, handsome illustrations give it appeal to all sexual beginners. In this revision (the third) there are a number of minor changes…. Herpes is now included in the section on venereal disease, and Gordon claims that all states now permit VD treatment without parental consent. Girls are warned against seductive "lines" (an echo of the author's You Would If You Loved Me)….

The major change, which makes it obligatory to discard the previous edition, has to do with the section headed "Sex Differences" (previously "Sex Problems and Differences"). This has been rewritten to clarify that homosexuality is neither a disorder nor a disease. The slang terms (except for "gay" and "lesbian") have been labeled pejorative, and other "different" but acceptable life choices mentioned are celibacy, bisexuality, and the sexually active single life. (p. 712)

Patty Campbell, in her review of "Facts about Sex for Today's Youth," in Wilson Library Bulletin (copyright © 1979 by the H. W. Wilson Company), Vol. 53, No. 10, June, 1979, pp. 712-13.∗