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Thompson, A.G. (1956). Homosexuality: By D. J. West. (London: Duckworth, 1955. Pp. xiii + 145. 15 s.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 37:489.
(1956). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 37:489
Homosexuality: By D. J. West. (London: Duckworth, 1955. Pp. xiii + 145. 15 s.)
Review by: A. G. Thompson
This book is evidently intended for the general reader. Dr. West's approach is sober, sensible, and well-informed, and his book may be recommended to anyone in search of a short and comprehensive account of the problems of male homosexuality in our society today. It is pleasantly written, and the tone throughout is that of the clinician who is discussing problems of which he clearly has extensive first-hand experience in his day-to-day professional work.
The book is divided into two parts. The first consists of a brief and readable account of the basic facts of male homosexuality considered from the anthropological, clinical, sociological, and legal points of view. In the second part the etiology, treatment, and prevention of homosexuality are discussed. After dealing with the question of the organic and hereditary factors, real or supposed, in the etiology of homosexuality, the author devotes a chapter to an account of psycho-analytical findings and hypotheses. Bearing in mind that the book is intended for the general reader and not for the psycho-analyst, this chapter, though over-simplifying many of the complex issues involved, gives a reasonable account of the relevant basic psycho-analytical formulations.
Dr. West's book should contribute greatly to dispelling the thick cloud of ignorance, fear, and prejudice which envelops the whole question of homosexuality in the public mind at the present time. It should be read by all those who are accustomed to express themselves on the subject with a vehemence unmatched by their knowledge or understanding, such as judges, magistrates, legislators, and writers of articles in the Press.
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