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Anything But Gay

Paul Cameron doesn't like homosexuality. But his 1978 recipe for avoiding it -- sex play for teens -- will shock many a parent.

In a 1978 book called Sexual Gradualism, Paul Cameron offered a "solution to the sexual dilemma of teenagers and young adults." The man who would go on to become America's most vitriolic anti-gay researcher proposed that teenagers and unmarried adults be encouraged by their parents, church leaders and society in general to engage in sexual activity that gradually increases in intensity, but always stops short of "going all the way" before marriage. What follows are excerpts from the meandering, 70-page manual, which is part social theory, part how-to guide.

Gradualism is a process-oriented approach to learning the physical skills of sexuality in step with gaining maturity in the psychological aspects of sexual intimacy. Gradualism is anchored on set levels of sexuality activity. These levels are:

Level 1: Being near another.

Level 2: Holding hands, hugging and the like.

Level 3: Kissing.

Level 4: Breast fondling.

Level 5: Mutual hand exploration of the genitals.

Level 6: Total nudity, perhaps in a bathtub. Manual stimulation.

Level 7: Oral sex.

Level 8: The final level of sexual intimacy.

Level 5 is the break-off point. Only people who truly love can care enough to handle beyond Level 5. Level 5 provides 60 percent of the overall fun of sex.

Kissing is probably among the most harmful practices in which our culture indulges. I know of no absolute way to compare the amount of disease attributable to sexual intercourse as compared to mouth-to-mouth exchange. But one would suspect there are far more dangerous diseases communicated by mouth than by the genital track.

Gradualism would best be practiced at home. A responsible set of parents might allot a room, privacy, access to a bathroom, a television, and snacks to their teen-agers to practice gradualism. Some parents may shudder at this prospect. But they should remember that the minute a teenager leaves in a car, he or she is able to do anything desired.

Another advantage of gradualism is the insulation value it provides against homosexuality. By gradually introducing a young person to the opposite sex, gradualism steers in a heterosexual direction. While no parent wants his child starting the sexual process "too young," better too young than homosexual.

-- Reprinted from Sexual Gradualism by Paul Cameron