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Synopsis: Over the course of the past century, sexual liberation has transformed the way in which most of us regard our bodies and live our sexual lives. Now a preeminent psychoanalytic theoretician on sex and gender discusses what has gone into this unquiet revolution -- the roles played by sexologists and psychoanalysts, antibiotics and birth control, the liberation movements, and Freud's insight that sex has as much to do with the mind as with the genitals.In this collection of new and previously published papers, Ethel Person writes of the centrality of sexuality to our identity. She describes the role of fantasy in desire, its different expression in the sexes, and the way in which desire is inevitably intertwined with power. Her classic papers on transvestism, transsexualism, and cross-dressing homosexuals, written with Lionel Ovesey, help us to understand how gender and sex develop in all of us. The public acceptance of the transsexual, says Person, is emblematic of the profound scientific and intellectual shifts that have taken place in the past hundred years. The way that sex and gender develop and are experienced and expressed is the result-not only of nature and nurture but also of the cultural zeitgeist, its unspoken values and biases.

From Library Journal: Formerly director of the Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research, Person has been a major theoretician and researcher of sexuality and gender. This book selects from 25 years of her scholarly papers, grouped into sections covering general background and theoretical frameworks. She discusses sex and gender, cross-gender disorders, sexual desire and fantasy, female and male sexual and gender patterns, and the impact of culture as seen through a portrait of Harry Benjamin and his work with transsexuals. Person's writing is thoughtful, clear, and balanced, and she incorporates a variety of research, perspectives, and disciplines. This volume would constitute an excellent introduction to the history of psychoanalytic theories of sex and gender from Freud to the present, with some attention to balancing male with female theory. For academic and large public libraries, particularly with collections on psychology and psychoanalysis, sexuality, gender, homosexuality, and transgender phenomena.AMartha Cornog, Philadelphia
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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