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Eder, M.D. (1925). A Study of Masturbation and its Reputed Sequeloe: By J. F. Meagher, M.D., F.A.C.P. (William Wood & Co., New York, 1924. Pp. 69. Price $1.50. Baillière, Tindall & Cox, London. Price 6 s.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 6:84-85.

(1925). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 6:84-85

A Study of Masturbation and its Reputed Sequeloe: By J. F. Meagher, M.D., F.A.C.P. (William Wood & Co., New York, 1924. Pp. 69. Price $1.50. Baillière, Tindall & Cox, London. Price 6 s.)

Review by:
M. D. Eder

Though it cannot be said that Dr. Meagher has solved any of the difficult psychological and practical problems that arise out of onanism (a better word than masturbation, which the author defines as 'all methods of causing pleasurable sex sensations by an individual's own efforts'), he has the courage to recognize that it is a psycho-pathological problem, that the resultant ills are due mainly to the unconscious conflicts that are aroused, the act revivifying infantile activities, experiences and phantasies.

Although a large number of authorities are quoted, Dr. Meagher is rather indiscriminating in his selection; such catholicity as is shown by the numerous quotations from Kisch and authors of equally unscientific judgment makes one feel a little uneasy when one finds the author equally supporting the views of Freud and Jones, to the latter of whom the little book is gracefully dedicated. The views of the authorities are not always given quite correctly; Freud, for instance, has nowhere stated that four neuroses—primary neurasthenia, anxiety neuroses, hysteria and compulsion neurosis—may result from masturbation (p. 44); he has made it quite clear that the pathological factors in the first two offer an almost complete contrast, whilst the latter two are not directly connected with the physico-sexual apparatus.

With all the great respect for marriage which perhaps a psycho-analyst alone has, it is impossible to accept the statement that most extramarital coitus is masturbatory in character; it would be quite inaccurate to say this of coitus with prostitutes, or even of prostitutes themselves.

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