A Dark Science
Women, Sexuality and Psychiatry in the Nineteenth Century
Here translated for the first time are a series of shocking texts from the 19th century German psychiatric literature, which, while almost completely unknown to modern readers, have had a devastating influence on attitudes toward women and children in the 20th century. The articles on the sexual "lies" and sexual "fantasies" of children were seminal, brutal, and still resonate in today's literature, having taken a terrible toll on the intellectual ideas of modern psychiatry. The articles document brutal treatment for masturbation, hysteria, and vaginismus, as well as incidences of the so-called fabricated sexual abuse of "prematurely perverted" children. Though by no means an "easy read," Masson's collection of these nine articles exposes a point in the history of the practice of psychology that proves ignorance and negative attitudes towards women created a dark science that modern psychiatrists struggle to overcome.
- Untreed Reads, June 2013
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