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Meyer, J.K. (1994). Gender Disorders and the Paraphilias: By William B. Arndt, Jr. Madison, CT: International Universities Press, Inc., 1991. 488 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 63:164-167.

(1994). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 63:164-167

Gender Disorders and the Paraphilias: By William B. Arndt, Jr. Madison, CT: International Universities Press, Inc., 1991. 488 pp.

Review by:
Jon K. Meyer

Over the last twenty-five years interest in gender disorders and paraphilias has been stimulated by the conceptualization of gender identity, the puzzling observations with transsexuals, heightened awareness of preoedipal development, and the sexological revolution. Analysts have been concerned with the complexity behind the surface simplicity of gender disorders, the puzzling relationships between gender disorder and paraphilia, the developmental processes condensed in those conditions, the reductionism of sexological notions, and heuristic application of psychoanalytic concepts. Needless to say, there have been embarrassing riches of uncertainty.

Gender Disorders and the Paraphilias is an ambitious effort to replace uncertainty with assurance. Guided by the "principle of constructive alternativism" (p. ix) (behavior is interpretable from various perspectives, no one superior to any other), the author's intent is to integrate "endocrinology, general psychiatry, psychoanalysis, forensic medicine, psychology, sociology, and social work" (p. ix). This is a formidable task, carrying the risk that conclusions will be homogenized to the lowest common denominator. An example of this problem is to be found in the discussion of transvestitism and transsexualism together as gender identity disorders.

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