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Eder, M.D. (1931). The Riddle of Sex: By J. Tenenbaum, M.D. (London: George Routledge & Sons, Ltd., 1930. Pp. 362. Price 7 s. 6 d.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 12:244-245.
(1931). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 12:244-245
The Riddle of Sex: By J. Tenenbaum, M.D. (London: George Routledge & Sons, Ltd., 1930. Pp. 362. Price 7 s. 6 d.)
Review by: M. D. Eder
The humour is avuncular: 'Beware of widows! They have a tendency to outlive their second husbands and be comforted by a third one! (sic). The merry widow still has her vogue'.
The style is 1830: 'Pregnancy is the profoundest event in a woman's life. It is the pinnacle, etc., etc. She enters the holy communion. She sows the seeds of life that there may be a better humanity, a more worthy humankind! There is nothing that can compare with woman's heroism, nothing that can match her self-sacrifice. She gives of herself, of her own life that others may live'. And so on. In a nice-minded woman who read this passage it almost caused an abortion.
The information is not always accurate. 'Freud and his school anticipate sexualism in the foetus: others rightly deny such claims'.
Dr. Tenenbaum has a tendency to hedge: 'However, while we do not want to go on record as recommending marital relations during menstruation, we nevertheless must admit that sexual relations, when performed under special precautions, are devoid of dangerous complication. It is practised by many couples without visible ill effects'. Suggesting that there are possibly invisible ill-effects, the writer, it would seem, has not surmounted the menstruation taboos. 'We are far from advocating cold-blooded marriages, but moreover we abhor commercialism in marriage, and we detest marital fortune hunters. But marriage built on love alone is like a castle built in the air'.
Dr. Tenenbaum cannot help dropping into poetry.
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