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Bunker, H.A. (1935). Sex and Culture. Psychoanal Q., 4:640-653.

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(1935). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 4:640-653

Sex and Culture

Henry Alden Bunker

By J. D. Unwin. London: Humphrey Milford: Oxford University Press, 1934. xvi+676 p.

This is a remarkable book, one which should make as strong an appeal as any work I know to those who are interested in the phylogeny no less than in the ontogeny of the human mind. It presents in great detail and with the fullest documentation the results of an inquiry which the author conducted, not, he assures us, with any idea of proving a thesis, for he had none to prove, or of establishing anything, for he had no idea of what the result would be, but solely with the purpose of testing "a somewhat startling conjecture that had been made by the analytical psychologists." This suggestion was "that if the social regulations forbid direct satisfaction of the sexual impulses, the emotional conflict is expressed in another way, and that what we call 'civilization' has always been built up by compulsory sacrifices in the gratification of innate desires". Is this conclusion, arrived at on quite other grounds, in any way substantiated, Dr. Unwin asked, "by a reference to cultural data"?—does a critical inquiry into the records of human societies reveal any correspondence between "limitation of sexual opportunity" and degree of cultural attainment, such as should be discoverable if it be true that cultural achievements are largely or wholly due to a substitution of non-sexual for sexual aims, to a displacement of sexual tendencies to non-sexual goals, to the "sublimation", as we say,

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