Q Dear Miss Abigail:
Why do all of your questions seem to be directed at the female perspective? Who do men who need answers turn to?
A Dear Charles:
Yes, it does seem to be true that the majority of my questions are geared toward females. But many of the dating and love problems do cross gender lines.
Even so, it sometimes feels like I’m neglecting young men, so in recent years I’ve tried to beef up my collection of books for boys. Located so far: What a Young Boy Ought to Know, What Every Young Man Should Know and the ever popular Attaining Manhood. For parents of boys: Understanding Your Son’s Adolescence, So You Want to Raise a Boy? Even health and even beauty are covered, with such books as The Boys Book of Physical Fitness, and Looking Good: A Guide for Men. There are a few others scattered throughout the collection, but you get the point with this quick list.
The following introduction, which was written by Wilbert C. Davison for Frank Howard Robinson’s For Boys Only, sums up this pressing need for advice for our young men. You certainly can count on me to try harder from now on.
1952: For Boys Only: Introduction
The most difficult period of a boy’s life is that between elementary school and high school. While in elementary school he is told what to do and why; and by the time he becomes a high school senior he usually knows what he wants to do and why. But in that interval of adolescence during early high school while he is becoming an adult, he is bewildered not only by the physical changes he is undergoing but by the emotional behavior caused by these physical changes.
Dr. Richardson’s book supplies in a most interesting way the information he wants and needs. After a boy has read this book he knows why he does the things which often lead to trouble, why he tries to outdrive other motorists, why he imitates the love life of other men, and why he must attempt to convince himself and others that he is bigger, smarter and more courageous than he really knows himself to be.
Dr. Richardson doesn’t preach; but he answers the questions which bubble through every boy’s mind at this period, questions on sex and other problems which he often hesitates to ask, for usually there is no one to whom he can unburden himself without embarrassment and from whom he can obtain straight facts.
This book will fill an urgent need for the adolescent youth. But it will be of inestimable help as well to family doctors and pediatricians. For these men are becoming increasingly conscious that advice to youngsters of this group is not only necessary but also will go far toward reducing the behavior problems which are so frequent in this generation.
Source: Richardson, Frank Howard. For Boys Only: The Doctor Discuss the Mysteries of Manhood. New York: David McKay Company, Inc., 1952 (reprinted 1970).
~ pp. ix – x ~