Picks and Pans Review: From Man to Man

UPDATED 02/04/1980 at 01:00 AM EST Originally published 02/04/1980 at 01:00 AM EST

by Dr. Henry Ritter Jr. with Owen Spann

Men who wished they had an equivalent to the women's health manual Our Bodies, Ourselves could do worse than this informal discussion of male genitalia, adapted from appearances by Ritter, a Bay Area urologist, on Spann's local radio talk show. It goes all the way from detailed descriptions of how the penis, testes, prostate gland and bladder work to sexual dysfunction in old age (Ritter's adage is "Use it or lose it"). Not everyone will find Ritter's approach fair-minded. He approves of circumcision, for instance, but doesn't even discuss opposition to it, and he tends to endorse sexual promiscuity. The conversational tone is sometimes annoying, but the book includes lucid discussions of impotence, checking for cancer of the testicles (much as women do for breast cancer) and contraception, among other subjects. While the book may be helpful for teenagers—Ritter points out that the first sexual experience "usually turns out as an unmitigated disaster"—it is not a sex primer; he assumes knowledge of some of the basics. (Harper & Row, $8.95)

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