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Williams, A.H. (1957). Perversions, Psychodynamics and Therapy: Edited by Sandor Lorand, M.D. Associate Editor, Michael Balint, M.D. (New York: Random House, 1956, $7.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 38:432.

(1957). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 38:432

Perversions, Psychodynamics and Therapy: Edited by Sandor Lorand, M.D. Associate Editor, Michael Balint, M.D. (New York: Random House, 1956, $7.)

Review by:
A. H. Williams

This is a symposium consisting of articles written by seventeen distinguished workers in the field representing several different countries, all of whom accept Freud's basic formulations on perversion. All except two of the contributors are psycho-analysts. In the introduction it is stated that the book is intended to offer a summary of current views on perversion, and that promise has been admirably fulfilled. Despite the fact that the contributors are by no means homogeneous in their opinions, the work has been well articulated, so that there are no confusing contradictions.

The subdivision into sections is a helpful one in that it enables the reader more easily to look up what he needs at any given time. Each contributor has an individual slant upon the subject; e.g. Balint's concept of perversions as being attempts to escape from the two main demands of mature genitality; (1) accepting as real the intense need in ourselves for periodic regressions in the form of heterosexual coitus, and (2) accepting the necessity of the work of conquest (by which he means the winning of the object for genital partnership). General theory is presented by Gillespie in a clear and systematic way. Muensterberger deals with cultural aspects of perversion and states that what often seem to be contradictions are actually culture-bound adaptations, rooted in the interaction between physiological, psychological, and environmental forces, following Freud's allusion to this phenomenon in a paper written as early as 1908.

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