You're Nearly There, the Christian sex-ed book that advises you share wet dreams with your parents

Categories: Studies in Crap
Each Thursday, your Crap Archivist brings you the finest in forgotten and bewildering crap culled from basements, thrift stores, estate sales and flea markets. I do this for one reason: Knowledge is power.

You're Nearly There: Christian Sex Education for Preteens

Author: Mary Kehle
Date: 1983
Publisher: Harold Shaw, Wheaton, Illinois
Discovered at: Midwestern yard sale
The Cover Promises: You're nearly there, so think about baseball. Also: Boys should wear shirts made of girls' skirts. Also: It's time for your Godly sex-talk, so bring the dog!

Representative Quote:
"Usually around twelve or thirteen, a boy will notice a 'growth spurt' and the penis and scrotum will grow larger and resemble those of his father." (page 28).
Well before the growth spurt during which a young man first learns that his penis resembles his father's, and his father's father's before him, parents too shy to talk about such things might give that boy a book like You're Nearly There, by Mary Kehle.

Kehle also addresses girls' development, of course, but she never suggests that twelve year-olds and their mothers should make an evening of comparing vaginas.

Incidentally, she is qualified to introduce children to the oily, budding world of puberty. At the time of You're Nearly There's publication, Kehle was a PhD candidate in psychology at Arizona State, a school that knows a thing or two about young people and doin' it.


Kehl offers some sensible advice, letting boys know that their breasts should not change during adolescence, suggesting that girls discuss menstruation with grown-ups before their first period, and reminding the unsightly and unpopular:
"Regardless of outward appearances, you are a beautiful and valuable person to God and those who love you."
Sometimes, your Crap Archivist detects more than one meaning in Kehle's language:
"Whatever the cause, a penis will not remain erect for long. Don't be concerned about it. It will soon return to its normal position."
Is there regret in that? Does it sound like she's used to counseling kids and grown women?

Kehle lavishes lots of attention on boys' unmentionables. Here, she ruins sweaters forever:


To illustrate the difference between penises that have and have not been circumcised, she shows us one slender fellow possessing both.


Remember: God loves us all, regardless of outside appearance!

Anyway, for me the most curious aspect of Kehle's book is her hopeful account of what may happen when a boy tells his parents that a wet dream has dirtied up his PJs.
"If Mom and Dad are wise, they will explain wet dreams to their sons just as they explained menstruation to their daughters."
(So, for a couple days each month a boy should wear a sanitary device to bed? Say a condom or a Styrofoam cup?)
"Also, Mom might tell her son, 'Don't worry about your pajamas when you have a wet dream. Just get up and change and then go back to sleep."
Mom might tell her son this? Am I crazy to think that she might also have less warm reactions, especially in a 1983 home-school house?

Even Kehle suggests that boys not push these confessions:
"While you may want to share this experience with your Dad or Mom the first time it happens, it is not necessary to tell them about it each time."
Noted! And here I thought we should log each emission on mom's chore chart!

And, hey, did you know that puberty involves dressing up like Gilligan beside the magic stream at the heart of the Lost island?


Shocking Detail:
I took one of Kehle's quizzes.


Kehle is gentle but firm on controversial topics like VD, homosexuality ("not in [God's] plan"), and masturbation, which she states is "more frequent among boys" and likens to an infant's oral fixations.
"It's similar to a baby sucking on a bottle or on his thumb. He likes to do it. It feels good to him. However, as he grows and matures, we expect the need for sucking to disappear."
And be sure to tell Mom all about the first time you enjoy sucking!

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