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The Author Section is a useful way to review an author’s works published in PEP-Web. It is ordered alphabetically by the Author’s surname. After clicking the matching letter, search for the author’s full name.

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Weiss, S. (1998). What Men Want: Mothers, Fathers, and Manhood. By John Munder Ross. Cambridge, MA/London: Harvard University Press, 1994. 242 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 67(3):523-525.

(1998). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 67(3):523-525

What Men Want: Mothers, Fathers, and Manhood. By John Munder Ross. Cambridge, MA/London: Harvard University Press, 1994. 242 pp.

Review by:
Samuel Weiss

Ross has been studying fathers for the last twenty years. In his tour de force on the Laius complex, he directed attention to the father in the Oedipus myth, something neglected by Sophocles and by Freud. Not only did he emphasize the need to look at the father, whom he saw as the ultimate bad parent, but he was also able to offer a persuasive argument about why Freud himself had to focus on the son and not on the father.

The title of this book is, of course, a takeoff on Freud's What does a woman want? Ross attempts to study male development, especially from the standpoint of fatherhood, aggression, and heterosexual love. He contrasts the girl's wish for a phallus with the male's envy of the woman's capacity to bear children. Men wish to be like women, to bear children, to be passive, feminine, to avoid the dangers of violence somehow associated with being male.

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