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Cantor, M.B. (1958). Sexual Behavior In American Society (An Appraisal of the First Two Kinsey Reports). Edited by Jerome Himelhoch and Sylvia Fleis Fava. 446 pp. W. W. Norton & Company, New York, 1955. $5.. Am. J. Psychoanal., 18(2):199-201.
(1958). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 18(2):199-201
Sexual Behavior In American Society (An Appraisal of the First Two Kinsey Reports). Edited by Jerome Himelhoch and Sylvia Fleis Fava. 446 pp. W. W. Norton & Company, New York, 1955. $5.
Morton B. Cantor, M.D.
Much has been written in evaluation of the Kinsey reports, but this book is probably the most authoritative and comprehensive. Most impressive is the variety of disciplines, which includes critiques of Kinsey's scientific approach, his statistical methods, implications about marital adjustment, sexual patterns as related to American cultural patterns, and implications about religion, ethics and the law. There also are sections on psychoanalytical reactions to the Kinsey findings, the reactions of public opinion and mass media to the findings, the effects on the sexual attitudes and behavior of college students, and an attempt to compare sexual behavior in other societies. Some of the individual authors are Lawrence K. Frank, Abraham Stone, Morris Ernst, Morris Ploscowe, Albert Deutsch, Lawrence S. Kubie, Jule Eisenbud, Erich Fromm, Clyde Kluckhohn, and George Gallup. The critiques are clear, fair insofar as they consider the positive values of the reports, as well as the flaws in approach and method, and above all, constructive in terms of suggesting refinements for studies in the future.
As is pointed out in the foreword, we have been conditioned to see sexual relations in a traditional manner and studies such as Kinsey's help to free us from cultural preconceptions, so that we can approach human relationships in a fresher and more objective manner. “The frank and sympathetic examination and discussion of human sexual behavior is bringing new respect between men and women as well as sensible and constructive attitudes toward what are usually called sexual deviations.
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