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Female Perversions Paperback – March 1, 1997

ISBN-13: 978-0765700865 ISBN-10: 0765700867

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Jason Aronson (March 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765700867
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765700865
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.1 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,743,436 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Distinguished psychoanalyst and author Louise Kaplan scrutinizes the world of sexual perversions and exposes the misconceptions behind them in her masterful study, Female Perversions. Her effort earned the book a nomination for a National Book Critics Circle Award. Kaplan's general thesis is that perversions are as much a function of gender role identity as they are of sexuality. Her thesis also maintains that the predominantly male medical profession has created and perpetuated many of the myths of perverse female sexual behavior. The book outlines various types of perverse behavior--fetishism, voyeurism, exhibitionism--and then analyzes each type outside of society's traditional perspective. As she expounds on her theory, Kaplan invokes Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary. She sees many parallels between the plight of Emma Bovary and the perception of female perversions in society today. Kaplan writes lucidly, offering an enlightening insight into the provocative and complex issue of female erotic expression to a range of readers.

From Publishers Weekly

Foot fetishist Gustave Flaubert preferred his mistress's slippers to her body. For the heroine of Madame Bovary , the sexually thwarted novelist created an adulterous provincial housewife who seems as burdened by gender conventions as Flaubert himself. Kaplan sees Emma Bovary as a woman enslaved by social stereotypes, her successive love relationships a series of dominance/submission games. A psychoanalyst and co-editor of the journal American Imago , the author of this hefty tome uses Flaubert's novel, the love lives of George Sand and Edith Wharton, and numerous clinical case studies to illustrate her thesis that perversions (sadomasochism, fetishism, cross-dressing, voyeurism, kleptomania, etc.) are gender-identity disorders. In Kaplan's view, women's perversions parody feminine gender ideals of innocence and submission, while men's perversions express forbidden and shameful feminine impulses. This masterful study breaks new ground in our understanding of sexuality, gender roles and the way modern society trivializes erotic expression.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 29, 1999
Format: Paperback
I'm currently reading this book for a women's studies class on psychoanalysis and gender. The author succeeds in posing critical questions to psychoanalytic theories of perversions such as fetichism, sadomasochism, etc. However, I think her arguments were clouded sometimes by what seemed like moral judgements, for example in saying that "Perverts don't make love, they make hate". It has really interesting case studies. I would recommend it to anyone interested in re-thinking psychoanalysis.
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24 of 30 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 29, 1999
Format: Paperback
I'm currently reading this book for a women's studies class on psychoanalysis and gender. The author succeeds in posing critical questions to psychoanalytic theories of perversions such as fetichism, sadomasochism, etc. However, I think her arguments were clouded sometimes by what seemed like moral judgements, for example in saying that "Perverts don't make love, they make hate". It has really interesting case studies. It also helps to analyze one's own behavior in terms of sexuality and its intersection with how we gender our actions in every day life. I would recommend it to anyone interested in re-thinking psychoanalysis.
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23 of 32 people found the following review helpful By J. Whiteman on July 3, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although this book has some interesting ideas, the author's perspective is limited by a narrow focus on freudian theories on penis envy and castration fear. The overall work is also tinged with an outdated 80's feminism that blames the evil patriarch for enslaving helpless women. The author seems to have a contempt of all traditional femininity. At one point she refers to parent's teaching children to act in feminine or masculine ways as 'soul murders.' The book ends with the words "..normal femininity..a perversion, if you will." If you are looking for progressive thinking you will find this book quite conservative.
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