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Friedman, R.C. (1992). The Psychoanalytic Theory of Male Homosexuality: By Kenneth Lewes. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1988, 301 pp., $19.95.. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 40:892-896.

(1992). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 40:892-896

The Psychoanalytic Theory of Male Homosexuality: By Kenneth Lewes. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1988, 301 pp., $19.95.

Review by:
Richard C. Friedman, M.D.

In The Psychoanalytic Theory of Male Homosexuality Kenneth Lewes discusses the psychoanalytic literature prior to the most recent panel held on the subject by The American Psychoanalytic Association (1983). No clinical material is presented, nor is the nonanalytic scientific literature on sexual orientation discussed.

The monograph is prefaced by Shakespeare's sonnet "They that have the power to hurt" which concludes, "For sweetest things turned sourest by their deeds/Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds." Lewes suggests that psychoanalytic theory, originally "sweet," became rotten because of its once widely accepted (and still popular) equation of homosexuality with psychopathology. The problem with this type of confrontation is that it tends to offend dissenters, leaving the author with an audience of the already committed. Lewes is a perceptive social critic, however, and many of his observations are close to the mark. His book deserves to be read and thought about despite the unevenness resulting from an intermittently ideological tone.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

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