PREPUBESCENT SEX LIFE: PREPUBERTAL HEALTH

In the process of learning to socialize with others, which plays an important role in subsequent sexual fife, physical health can be of great importance. Questioning each man in our sample, seeking to discover if frequent or protracted illness had interfered with his early life, we found that in general from 70 to 80 per cent reported good childhood health, 10 to 15 per cent fair health, and only 5 to 10 per cent poor health. The healthiest were those in the sex-offender groups who had been involved with females aged twelve and older. The control and prison groups are similar to most sex-offender groups, while the homosexual offenders report the poorest health, particularly the homosexual offenders vs. adults (the most homosexually oriented of all homosexual groups). They had the fewest, 55 per cent, who reported good health, and the most, 16 per cent, who reported poor health. In contrast, the heterosexual offenders vs. adults reported 84 per cent with good health and 5 per cent with poor health.

All this would lead one to envision a picture wherein the heterosexual offenders were outdoors with rosy cheeks happily playing with many other children while the homosexual offenders remained indoors alone with their medicine. This, as we shall see, is a false picture. Insofar as we may generalize from our data, only in extreme cases does poor health seriously interfere with socialization with other children. A sickly child may refrain from violent sports, but this does not preclude his having many companions of both sexes. However, ill health may prevent a boy from becoming a part of, and identifying with, what one may call “boy culture” with its early elements of roughness, courage, and other traditional masculine attributes of our culture.

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