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Smirnoff, V.N. (1967). The Pathology and Treatment of Sexual Deviation: Edited by Ismond Rosen (London: Oxford Univ. Press, 1964. Pp. 510. 50 s.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 48:326-329.

(1967). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 48:326-329

The Pathology and Treatment of Sexual Deviation: Edited by Ismond Rosen (London: Oxford Univ. Press, 1964. Pp. 510. 50 s.)

Review by:
V. N. Smirnoff

This collection of essays from a wide range of disciplines had its origins in a Congress on the subject of sexual deviation held under the auspices of the Portman Clinic in London.

The first essay is one by Professor Tinbergen, in which he demonstrates his method of observing animal behaviour, taking the black-headed gull species as his example. The method is determined by the nature of the observables: movements of animals, circumstances by which they are elicited, their function or survival value. Tinbergen states that he deliberately refrains from any attempt at making guesses about the nature of the possible subjective phenomena which may be experienced by his subjects, and from "making any but the most tentative comparison with Man." In man, both the selective responsiveness to outside stimuli and the motor patterns by which a given type of motivation expresses itself can undergo great changes during a lifetime; aggression for instance can be expressed in various ways—by "a seemingly friendly letter, doodling during a committee meeting, or lighting a cigarette". No such variety exists with the black-headed gull; aggression, i.e. "a behaviour involving approach or pursuit and attempts at administering stimuli to another animal which make it withdraw or flee", is almost the same all through all members of the species, with little individual difference. The same can be said about "fear" or "sexual behaviour".

Psycho-analysis has reached a point where it can use new vistas; and there is no doubt that the ethological notions of displacement activities, of motivational conflict, or selective responsiveness, which Tinbergen presents, shed a new light on our thinking in terms of behaviour.

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