By G. Rousseau

Young children and Sexuality probes the hidden relatives among kids and sexuality in case reviews from the Greeks to the good battle. The lives reconstructed the following expand from Greek Alcibiades to Lewis Carroll and Baden-Powell, every one stated with scrupulous vigilance to aspect and nuance.

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Conceptualizing and historicizing sexual abuse A book attempting to historicize intergenerational sexual liaisons can be conceptualized, framed and presented in many ways. All are perilous and have their fair share of disadvantages. It may concentrate exclusively on definition and semantics: what is a child, what an adult or sexual liaison; and what conditions, especially the chronological ages, must obtain for an experience to count as a ‘sexual’ encounter? Even the clinically sounding ‘intergenerational’ poses huge semantic hurdles leaving this editor with residues of unresolved angst.

The helping, or intrusive, mode (twentieth century). Neither the six modes nor their historical correlatives are commensurate with our understanding of the past, nor do we use them in this book. It must nevertheless be conceded that deMause’s collection was one of the few historical books before 1975 to include ‘children and sexuality’ as a category for exploration. ’ Nevertheless, the neglect or silencing, as the case may be, of deMause since then by historians of childhood on both sides of the Atlantic remains a mystery awaiting elucidation.

Compatible and conducive it undoubtedly was, but the historian accurately records as well as shrewdly assesses the past, and viewed within the context of children and sexuality such extreme preoccupation with anal cleanliness – even in an era of rampant cholera – robbed boys of their natural rights to experience their natural bodies. It also denied them their masturbatory bodies, promoting instead a brand of masculine modesty, at home and on the imperial frontier, as tendentious as that of the ‘asexual girl’.

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