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Klein, E. (1943). Sex in Marriage: By Ernest R. Groves and Gladys Hoagland Groves. New York: Emerson Books, Inc., 1940. 250 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 12:133-135.

(1943). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 12:133-135

Sex in Marriage: By Ernest R. Groves and Gladys Hoagland Groves. New York: Emerson Books, Inc., 1940. 250 pp.

Review by:
Emanuel Klein

The Groves have written a great many books on marriage and related subjects. Among them are Wholesome Childhood, Wholesome Parenthood, Wholesome Marriage. The present volume is a companion book to Wholesome Marriage which dealt with the social and financial aspects of marriage. The authors teach at the University of North Carolina, and run a Marriage and Family Council. The very idea of having college courses in marriage and the family is a progressive one, and the Groves have played an important pioneering rôle in this movement. They are well informed on many aspects of the complex problem of human relationships. Unfortunately such knowledge does not include any serious understanding of the contributions that psychoanalysis has brought to the problems of personality and of sex. They have of course been influenced by analytic ideas but what one misses most is an understanding of the unconscious, and of the dynamics of behavior. They say their intention is to give sex information in the manner and spirit of a book for beginners in gardening. In so far as sex and marriage are like gardening, and there are quite a few similarities, the book is helpful, but its greatest weakness is in coping with those aspects that are quite different.

Failure to be happy in marriage often comes from ignorance regarding sex, and the purpose of this book is to remove the ignorance. Of course information alone is not enough, because information cannot cure selfishness, or eliminate vicious or pathological trends from the neurotic.

At this point one comes to one of the unhappiest portions of the book, a series of directions for exploring one's sexual background.

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