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Heiman, M. (1968). Female Sexuality—Introduction. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 16:565-568.

(1968). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 16:565-568

Female Sexuality—Introduction

Marcel Heiman, M.D.

THIS PANEL ON "Female Sexuality" was set up to give psychoanalysts an opportunity to discuss two important publications on female sexuality. The first is Human Sexual Response, a book by Masters and Johnson, published in 1966, representing their studies over the past twelve years (2). The second is a paper by M. J. Sherfey (3) in the January, 1966 issue of this Journal.

No single person or group of people at any given time will find it possible to deal with all the aspects of female sexuality. Perhaps the discussions of this panel will result in the selection of a few topics within this complex subject matter for later study. It is my hope that this will be so.

I wish to make some comments of a general nature. Masters and Johnson's description of the anatomy and physiology of the "sexual response cycle" is stripped of psychological matters to a degree neither attempted nor felt possible until now. This might be an advantage or a disadvantage—but this is the way they did it.

I am sure that there will be good agreement that the description of sexual response from which the psychological elements have been left out, is incomplete—certainly for the human female. But that does not mean that exact observations of the physiological process are without value or do not contribute to our understanding of the total process of sexual response. This would be like saying that studies on salivation, mastication, and glutition are of value only if carried out in Soule's Restaurant.

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