Adolescent Sexual Behavior (1964)

Benjamin Morse
Monarch Books (#436)

One of Monarch's "Human Behavior" series, their entry in the intense post-Kinsey competition for sleaze disguised as "sexology."  This one is notable in that "Benjamin Morse" is apparently a pseudonym for Lawrence Block, now a renowned figure for his many years of writing pulp crime novels (like Diet of Treacle).

There is a real art to writing these, believe it or not, and you have to respect Block (who, as far as I know, has no training in "sexology" or adolescent psychology) for bluffing his way through something like this.  The strategy is to take fairly common memories of dating/sex from high school life and give them a semi-scientific sheen, complete with "authentic" testimony from alleged adolescents concerned over their sexual progress, competency, and/or "normality."  Block had clearly read Freud, noting that one can not properly discuss adolescent sexuality without first considering earlier stages of infantile and childhood sexuality.  Not only is this accurate and thorough, it helps the author eat up a few pages basically recapping Freud before having to generate new "factual" material.

And yet another stunning cover.  Johnny and Suzie after school and all mixed-up.  Who can tell what they are saying?  "Should we go all the way?"  "I'm pregnant." "I don't do that with boys after just one date."  One thing is for sure, memories of adolescent sexual behavior are bittersweet, especially so for the Mad Men era commuter reading this behind his newspaper on the L.I.R. 

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