MALE SURVIVAL by Harvey Kaye


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An attempt to rescue the lost male from the wilderness of Hugh Hefner, women's liberation, homosexuality and sexual inadequacy. Kaye's survey of virility -- counterfeit and authentic -- begins on a pedestrian note: the ""Masculine Mystique,"" which includes the ""Superman Syndrome,"" the ""Neanderthal Ideal,"" the ""Sexual Athlete,"" the ""Heroic Imperative,"" the ""Achiever Complex,"" the ""Playboy,"" and the ""Dominance Drive,"" is an oppresive over-definition of the male sex rote. He continues with ""The Sex Life of a Penis,"" in which he explores premature ejaculation and impotence as symptoms of an unrealistic attempt to fulfill socially imposed expectations. Surely all of this is old hat. But he introduces more substance when he delineates masculinity in its biological, psychological, and social senses. Indeed, Kaye is even astute in his presentation of homosexuality, only a ""problem"" when ""identity confusion"" is involved (to be solved by either change to heterosexuality or adaptation to homosexuality). His ""modest critique"" of women's liberation takes the excesses of the movement to task, perceptively separating the wheat from the Millet. In connecting the ""Provider"" role to the economic alienation of the worker, Kaye is provocative, but he fails to follow up on his idea. The upshot is an insistence that humanity is more important than masculinity; he is right, of course, but the notion is not new.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1974
Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap