Making a Place for Pleasure in Early Childhood Education
by Joseph Tobin (ed.)
(Yale University Press, New Haven, 1997)
This book is a thought-provoking examination of the "moral panic" that has affected teachers and pupils in day care and other child care environments. While sex talk and sex play were formerly considered normal and natural parts of growing up, parents and teachers are now anxious to avoid any kind of behavior that could be considered controversial, provoke suspicion, or even be used as an excuse to attack anybody you don't like for any reason. Although the authors also defend gay teachers, they are telling the truth and are on children's side. A somewhat painful story to read, this book will change your views about censorship and "inhibition" of children's healthy desires for physical contact with their peers as well as adults in their daily lives. Currently available on Amazon, but as an expensive hardcover from Amazon or the Yale Bookshop.
Also recommended: an earlier and less scholarly book on the subject The Many Facets of Touch by Catherine Caldwell Brown (ed.) with an introduction by the noted pediatrician T. Barry Brazelton (Johnson & Johnson Baby Products, New Jersey, 1984).