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Eder, M.D. (1935). Encyclopoedia of Sexual Knowledge: By Drs. A. Costler, A. Willy and others, under the general editorship of Norman Haire, Ch.M., M.B. (Francis Aldor, London. Pp. xxii. + 647. Price 36 s.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 16:111-113.

(1935). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 16:111-113

Encyclopoedia of Sexual Knowledge: By Drs. A. Costler, A. Willy and others, under the general editorship of Norman Haire, Ch.M., M.B. (Francis Aldor, London. Pp. xxii. + 647. Price 36 s.)

Review by:
M. D. Eder

This translation from the French is intended rather for the general public than for the medical profession. But so far as sexual knowledge goes, with the exception of anatomical facts, the doctor shares the ignorance of the layman and, indeed, is often more at sea than the patient who consults him.

There is a good deal of suffering which could be avoided—can be avoided by more knowledge; many prejudices can be overcome, many superstitions demolished by simple non-sentimental statements—calling un chat un chat. On the whole, this encyclopædia presents the material very fairly, but there are a number of remarks in the text, which is by different authors, that can lead to misconceptions; the general editor, however, has corrected the majority of these misleading statements in his footnotes.

On page 122 it is said that the interstitial glands 'are independent organs, situated adjacent to those more important glands which reach their full development at puberty'; this hardly makes it clear that the interstitial glands are in the testicle itself.

The divorce between physical love and tenderness, carnal and heavenly love is not the result of the first sexual experience occurring with a prostitute (p. 154). This separation is a very common form of impotency having varying ætiological factors; repressed homosexuality, unconscious sadism, ambivalent attitude to the mother, and so on.

The writer of the chapter on masturbation is still rather prone to dwell on the possible ill-effects; the editor correctly points out that the 'neurasthenia' is due to the guilty feelings associated with it, but the guilty feelings are not entirely due to faulty teaching; consider what a ready ear such 'faulty teaching' gets, whilst other teachings, faulty and faultless, fail to find such a ready and eager listener.

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