THE PSYCHOANALYTIC THEORY OF MALE HOMOSEXUALITY by Kenneth Lewes

THE PSYCHOANALYTIC THEORY OF MALE HOMOSEXUALITY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Here, Lewes, a clinical psychologist, appears to have pored through just about everything published in English (plus much in German) to document and assess the psychoanalytic view and treatment of homosexuals from Freud to the 1980's. Evidence reveals that Freud was sympathetic toward homosexuals and did not consider them morally flawed or inherently emotionally disturbed. Many subsequent psychoanalysts, however, regarded homosexuality as a ""perversion,"" even a form of paranoia, and tried, with relatively little success, to ""cure"" it. Lewes theorizes that this hostility derived from an early psychoanalytic bias against women, later transferred to homosexuals after the works of eminent female psychoanalysts gained wide acceptance. Most psychoanalysts remained obdurate during the 60's, even as other disciplines were discovering the relationship between gender disturbances and hormonal imbalances and the universality of homosexuality across the cultural spectrum. In 1973, the American Psychiatric Association, after a bitter (and here excruciatingly well-documented) fight, struck homosexuality from its list of sexual disorders. Four years later, however, 69% of psychiatric professionals surveyed still classified it as ""pathological."" Lewes has scrupulously resurrected such a plethora of often conflicting, occasionally ludicrous theories about homosexuality (Freud alone produced six) that readers may feel lost in a crazy-house maze. Psychiatric professionals, homosexuals, and, perhaps some feminists, however, will find this work a valuable reference source and Lewes' theories of more than passing interest.

Pub Date: Nov. 23rd, 1988
Publisher: Simon & Schuster