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Bing, J.F. (1971). Self-Love: By David Cole Gordon. New York: The Macmillan Co., 1970. 96 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 40:527-529.

(1971). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 40:527-529

Self-Love: By David Cole Gordon. New York: The Macmillan Co., 1970. 96 pp.

Review by:
James F. Bing

Gordon has divided his book into two parts. The first part, he says, '… is a discussion of the prevalency of masturbation; the origins of the practice; the source of guilt; how guilt is reinforced; what flows from the guilt; the relationship between autoerotism and suicide; the connection between guilt and masturbatory fantasies; the practice of onanism as it relates to narcissism and homosexuality; the benefits of autoerotic activity; and the conventional medical and psychoanalytic therapies for autoerotists'.

This reviewer is of the opinion that the author falls far short of clarifying these issues. In this first section he presents some very interesting statistics on masturbation and some interesting historical facts. Gordon clearly has a smattering of psychoanalytic information but much of it is superficial. Psychoanalytic terms are used and psychoanalytic concepts are bandied about but misunderstood. The book is replete with examples, but space permits only the demonstration of a few. In an inaccurate interpretation of Freud's views, Gordon states: '"Infantile", "immature", "personality defect" is just name-calling and the substitution of Freudian pseudoscientific language for the prohibitions of the Talmud. But this is name-calling with not just a vengeance but a difference. The name-calling is being done by analysts who are responsible for the mental health of many patients and who also happen to head the departments of psychiatry in hospitals and medical schools and act in many cases as supervising and training psychoanalysts' (p. 27).

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