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Books, Journals, New Media
April 23/30, 2003

Pediatrics

JAMA. 2003;289(16):2146. doi:10.1001/jama.289.16.2146-a

Perrin's new book on sexual orientation in children is a thorough, scholarly work on a difficult topic. She begins with a chapter reviewing what is and is not known about sexual identity and its development in children, youth, and adults. This chapter takes on morality as well as science, addressing such basic questions as why people have sex, why people parent, and how to promote positive social development in a difficult world with fewer and fewer "typical" heterosexual, two-parent families. Woven through this discussion of the social impact of sexuality is the important role of the primary care clinician as a resource for children, youth, and families. Perrin explores family systems and prejudice, making the case that, while sexuality is increasingly accepted as normal for children, sexuality in children is not the same as eroticized adult experience. Clinicians must learn to help families clarify their own values and help families communicate about sexuality and sexual development; this text is good for helping the reader do just that.

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