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Stolen Women: Reclaiming Our Sexuality, Taking Back Our Lives Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (August 11, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471297178
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471297178
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #315,420 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Gail Elizabeth Wyatt's Stolen Women explores how body identities are often shaped by deeply rooted myths and cultural stereotypes. Tracing black women's body images and sexuality from childhood to adolescence to adulthood, Wyatt powerfully explains in her introduction that "to the degree that we allow our sexual self-image to be defined by others, we will remain, as our ancestors were, stolen women, captives not of strangers but of the past, and of our own unexamined experiences. The challenge we face is to see ourselves not as others see us or want us to be seen, but as we are, as we were, and as we want to be."

Wyatt, a Ph.D. and professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral science at UCLA, explores the origins and hazards of these images through a psychiatric lens. Her use of case studies and behavioral research puts a human face on how these myths affect the development of young black women, and her careful analysis breaks down behavioral trends clearly and concisely. Black women are often seen in opposing sexual terms, either as completely nonsexual or perpetually sexually available. Wyatt fills in the gap between these two dangerous stereotypes, unpacking childhood messages about sex and exploring issues like how girls learn to be "ladies." She encourages all "stolen women" to regain control over their bodies from these external forces, allowing women to apply her work to their own lives and giving them the tools to break free, refusing to believe these painful myths are unchangeable. --Amy Wan

From the Publisher

For the first time, the premiere authority on black female sexuality expands upon her in-depth landmark study to provide a rich and insightful chronicle of black women's unique sexual coming-of-age, from early childhood through adolescence and adulthood. Reports previously unpublished findings and traces how the trauma of slavery continues to influence negative stereotypes of black women and their relationships. Also includes first-hand accounts by black women on their struggle for a positive sexual identity. --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

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 29, 1999
Format: Paperback
I read Dr. Wyatt's book and found it fascinating. The book discusses the history of black women and their sexuality over the past 400 years and shows how this relates to current problems today. I especially liked the personal stories by women struggling to find themselves and happiness in their relationships. This is a great book for all women regardless of ethnicity or age. Also good for moms and daughters.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kimberly on January 23, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
LOve it, Purchase it if you want to know the History of Black Women and our Sexuality and how to take it back! Love IT!!!!
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 15, 2002
Format: Paperback
Dr. Wyatt writes an amazing book that not only describes the findings of her surveys and case studies, but also relates the information from her own personal perspective as a black woman. Using hundreds of conversations with real black women, Wyatt presents pictures of both successful women and women who are still in crisis. She takes factual surveys and compares black women and white women in order to debunk stereotypes.
Along with her factual information, Wyatt uses her expertise as a psychologist to offer ways in which black women can improve their lives and the lives of their children. I especially liked the way she encourages women of color to educate themselves and their children.
The one critique I would have would be that I wish she had written a bit more about her mathematical analyses. For example, she says that black women on average have fewer partners than white women. Is this a mean average or a median average? (A mean average would seem to me to be--no pun intended--less meaningful since a few very active women could drive the average up.) And were all surveys taken into account, or were some results deemed to be outliers?
I strongly recommend this book. Dr. Wyatt truly understands self-empowerment, and she preaches a message that people need to hear.
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By Flora Seawood on December 18, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
History continues to be repeated before our very eyes. Our history as Black women has been taken away from us. Now! is the time to reclaim our sexuality without having set-backs.

Thank you
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