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Dalrymple, L.A. (1940). The Single Woman and her Emotional Problems: By Laura Hutton, M.D. Baltimore: William Wood and Company, 1937. 169 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 9:432-433.

(1940). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 9:432-433

The Single Woman and her Emotional Problems: By Laura Hutton, M.D. Baltimore: William Wood and Company, 1937. 169 pp.

Review by:
Leolia A. Dalrymple

This book, though small in size, covers in a comprehensive manner the wide range of the emotional problems of the single woman for whom the possibility of marriage is precluded. Though it deals primarily with problems and suggestions for solving them, it also gives a cursory review of the psychological factors which may lead to the development of problems. It is designed to aid not only the individual, but also all those interested in her welfare such as doctors, nurses, social workers and others.

The author considers the single woman's basic problem to be loneliness due to the frustration of her instinctual needs—matehood and motherhood—and her most constant difficulty to be the temptation to regress to childhood modes of behavior. Because of these problems much consideration has been given to the subject of emotional friendships, particularly with women, as herein, the author feels, lies the best outlook for her frustrated emotions.

Sexual problems are dealt with not from the point of view of sexual pathology but as a natural result of the present day situation. Dr. Hutton feels that for some women masturbation may be the best possible solution for the relief of psychosexual tension. The author feels that although the experience of affairs with men may prove beneficial physically and psychologically, emotional instability may often result on account of their transitory nature, social attitudes, and unconscious conflicts. With women who are mature and responsible, on the other hand, a love relationship may be constructive in solving the problem of frustration of biological fulfilment.

Throughout the book the author points out the necessity of reducing anxiety and removing guilt in order that the individual may make a more mature adjustment, and she stresses the fact that this can be achieved only through the help of an understanding, tolerant adviser.

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