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Phillips, J.H. (1982). Szasz, T. Sex by Prescription.: Garden City, NY, Anchor Press, Doubleday, 1980. (Sex: Facts, Frauds and Follies. Oxford, Blackwell. Pp. 194. H/b £8.95, p/b £3.50.). J. Anal. Psychol., 27(2):204-205.
(1982). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 27(2):204-205
Szasz, T. Sex by Prescription.: Garden City, NY, Anchor Press, Doubleday, 1980. (Sex: Facts, Frauds and Follies. Oxford, Blackwell. Pp. 194. H/b £8.95, p/b £3.50.)
Review by: J. H. Phillips
Thirty years ago, when I was an analytic candidate at the C. G. Jung Institute in Zürich, Professor Jung said: ‘Whenever a person claims to have a sexual problem, look for the religious problem, and vice versa’. This suggestion was based on the intrinsic relationship between the physical and the mental, which has always been considered the dividing line between homo sapiens and other mammals. In his latest book Dr Thomas Szasz, Professor of Psychiatry at New York's Upstate Medical Center, examines the new ‘sex-therapy revolution’, and he demonstrates with admirable precision and clarity that the ‘sex experts’ (e.g., Masters and Johnson, Kaplan, Calderone, Money, etc.) are ‘determined to conceal moral values and social policies as medical diagnoses and treatments’. These self-styled ‘sex experts’ reduce homo sapiens to ‘nothing but’ a mammal.
In an interesting and enlightening historical review from St Augustine to the present day, Professor Szasz demonstrates that whereas for St Augustine sex was a ‘disease’, and was proscribed by his Christian religion, it has now become ‘medicine’, and is prescribed by the modern ‘sex experts’. Whereas clerics have always used the ‘fear of hell’ to control the ‘weak in mind, but strong in flesh’, the sex experts are now using the ‘fear of ill-health’ to get people to overcome their inhibitions and to produce more orgasms.
In the eighteenth century, medical clinicians became interested in sex, but instead of it being considered ‘immoral’ (as it was for the theologian), it was pronounced ‘unhealthy’. All non-procreative forms of sex were considered to be either ‘mental illness’ or its cause, and ‘treatment’ was anything from castration to incarceration.
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