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Everett, R.H. (1938). Groves, Gladys H., and Ross, Robert A. The Married Woman. (A Practical Guide to Happy Marriage.) New York: Greenberg. $2.50.. Psychoanal. Rev., 25(3):438-439.

(1938). Psychoanalytic Review, 25(3):438-439

Groves, Gladys H., and Ross, Robert A. The Married Woman. (A Practical Guide to Happy Marriage.) New York: Greenberg. $2.50.

Review by:
Ray H. Everett

Here is a surprisingly good book on what is getting to be a hackneyed subject. The literature on “how to be happy though married” has grown by leaps and bounds in the past five years, but many of the leaps have been in the dark, and some of the bounds rather anemic. This volume has both illumination and a worthwhile degree of resiliency.

Its sane treatment of such subjects as premarital sex experiences, masturbation, syphilis and gonococcal infections, homosexual tendencies, parental fixations et al. is valuable and refreshing. It clarifies and sympathizes with many a human frailty; it explains without condemning or condoning.

From the past decade's deluge of tomes on sex problems, but few have all-round usefulness. Too many have been written by religionists a bit overawed and inclined either to sentimentalize or dogmatize; others by physicians emphasize the pathological aspects unduly; and a third lot, by sociologists, focus so largely on societal implications as to be of but little practical help to individuals.

Mrs. Groves and Doctor Ross have succeeded in producing a practical, readable, well-balanced text. The “art of love”—a topic so widely exploited as to have become tiresome—is given a fair amount of attention but not made a golden calf. The so-called pitfalls of courtship and marriage are treated in a sane, matter-of-fact way; so are such subjects as contraception, fertility and the menopause.

And particularly to be commended is the authors' nice sense of humor as evidenced throughout the book but notably in the chapter, “The Roaring Forties.” Of the dowager who would a flapper be, they write: “The age-fixated woman, who is really so timid she must needs hide behind thick war-paint, carries out her screaming protest against maturity in her clothes and conversation, her facial expression and habits, whatever she can see to copy from her backward-facing ideal—pin-feathered youth. If she thinks a certain cocktail is favored by the very young, she not only serves it but makes a to-do about it. Her facial contortions when talking are supposed to pass for youthful vivacity, and her convention-pommeling diatribes for the insouciance of youth.”


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