THE NATURE AND EVOLUTION OF FEMALE SEXUALITY by

THE NATURE AND EVOLUTION OF FEMALE SEXUALITY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

An austerely scientific presentation of the biological facts of female sexuality which first appeared a few years ago in the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association -- extensively annotated here. Bringing together recent findings from embryology, gynecology, and the clinical observations of Masters and Johnson, Dr. Sherfey examines female musculature, hormonal secretions, the estrus cycle, fetal development, and stages of sexual arousal to come up with the disquieting conclusion that the orgasmic potentiality of women is ""insatiable"" and the culturally designated nymphomaniac is in fact ""the biological norm."" Although Sherfey is herself a psychiatrist, the present volume (there will be a second) eschews discussion of the psychological components and constraints of female sexuality to concentrate exclusively on the morphology and physical functioning of sexual organs seen in the context of the evolutionary diversification and adaptation. Among the myths which Dr. Sherfey dismantles in her no-nonsense lab report is the Freudian clitoral-vaginal transference theory according to which vaginal eroticism became (at least for psychoanalytic theory) the goal and symbol of maturity. Categorically asserting the impossibility of separating clitoral from vaginal orgasm, she supports her conclusions with extended examinations (accompanied by diagrams) of vaginal vasocongestion, and the structure of the labia majora and other female organs which will be accessible only to those with a strong scientific vocabulary and a persevering urge to master the anatomical details of sex. Despite the timeliness of her research and its far-reaching implications for Women's Lib controversies, this will probably reach only a specialized audience although more popularized works will in the future have to contend with her rigorously analytical investigation.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1972
Publisher: Random House