Education: That Normal Problem Child

For the boys of the fourth grade in a private New England day school, the big question was: Should they bother to invite the girls in the class to go along on their picnic? Finally, one boy produced the ultimate argument for the opposition. "All I know," said he, "is that Dr. Gesell says that the interest of boys at our age in the opposite sex is purely negative."

By invoking the name of Arnold Gesell, the boy was indulging in a practice that has become something of a national habit.

As senior biographer of...

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