PSYCHING OUT SEX by ingrid Rimland


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An at least halfway successful probing of our culturally determined ideas about sex and love. Rimland's relativist critique shows how we pick up our most idealized notions of what love is, some sources of sexual guilt, and--in her best chapters--how society determines (or reinforces) different kinds of sexual attitudes in boys and girls, attitudes that at their worst extremes can lead boys to view sex as a performance and girls to use love and sex as a form of blackmail. Later Rimland questions the view that homosexuality is a form of sickness. Useful as much of this is, Rimland's style sometimes gets in the way. She discusses types instead of individuals and many of her examples are so generalized that they're almost caricatures; her ventures into theory--say, behaviorism vs. free will--never really get off the ground; she is quite candid about neurotic love but hardly attempts to posit a healthier model. The case could have been much better presented, but as a groping, unstructured rap this could help some teenagers psych out their own confusion about sex and love.

Pub Date: April 14th, 1975
Publisher: Westminster