Until recently, the study of sex roles, sexual behavior, and the differences between the sexes came under the aegis of such disciplines as psychiatry, sociology, or medicine. Love and Love Sickness lays the groundwork for an emerging, independent area of study, that of sexology. It is the newest, most provocative work yet from John Money, a medical psychologist whose distinguished contributions to sex research have gained him an international reputation.
Money leads the reader through a fascinating array of topics relating to differences between the sexes, from, as he says, "making a baby to learning mathematics." Among his subjects are the behavior of the sexes as seen throughout history; irreducible, derivative, and arbitrary sex roles; how men and women differ in aggression and dominance, parenting, and in mathematical, verbal, and praxic reasoning ; principles of erotic sexuality; the pathology of love; sexual taboos in Western culture; pornography; and, in an appendix, the treatment of sex offenders.
Drawing upon history, ethnology, psychology, sociology, and law, as well as physiology, endocrinology, embryology, genetics, and host of other fields, Money proposes a new basis for understanding sexual behavior. He rejects the older analytic devices of motivation theory and the dichotomies of mind/body and nature/nurture to offer instead a theory that acknowledges a number of variables contributing to individual and collective behavior.
Professionals and students in sex education, mental health, psychiatry, and clinical psychology, human biology, and counseling will find Love and Love Sickness, like all of John Money's work, necessary reading. It is also a book for the educated layperson, who will find it replete with insights into the realm of human sexuality.