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Sioux Falls Feminists endorse A Dark Science for showing that doctors,
lawyers, gynecologists, and psychotherapists all closed ranks to
defend the abuse of women as pure female fantasy.
And furthermore if women were abused they were to blame.
Where have we heard all this before? The blaming
of women for their abuse continues to this day.

A Dark Science
Women, Sexuality And Psychiatry
in the Nineteenth Century
By Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson

A Dark Science (1986) - 199 pages
A Dark Science at Amazon.com

Following The Assault on Truth, his highly controversial work on Freud's abandonment of the seduction theory, Jeffery Masson offers a new interpretation of the way female sexuality was viewed by the medical profession in nineteenth-century Europe. Masson has found that the attitude of nineteenth-century medical science toward women, their sexuality, and their illnesses (generally diagnosed as "hysteria" or "moral insanity") closely resembles the attitude found today among many doctors, lawyers, gynecologists, and psychotherapists - an attitude based on massive ignorance and prejudice. To document his thesis, Masson has combed gynecological, pediatric and psychiatric journals published between 1865 to 1900 in France and Germany and selected nine of the more shocking articles for inclusion in this volume. None of these articles have ever appeared in English before.

In a comprehensive introduction, Masson examines current controversies regarding sexual assault, psychiatric abuse, pornography, and incest, showing how the debate over these issues is still fueled by nineteenth-century attitudes. He analyzes the roots of the mistaken belief that children fantasize experiences of sexual abuse; the not-so-uncommon practice of clitoral amputation and castration (removal of the ovaries) and the "blaming of the victim" response encountered by both victims of sexual attack and victims of the Holocaust. As Catherine MacKinnon says in her insightful preface: "Many scientists of the psyche continue to this day to deny the simple reality of sexual abuse and its formative role in fracturing women's minds, something which surely cries out to be healed as well as stopped."

A Dark Science is a disturbing reminder that what is represented as the result of careful scientific research is often nothing more than an expression of the prejudices of the time.

Jeffery Masson is the former Projects Director of the Sigmund Freud Archives. He received his Ph.D. in Sanskrit from Harvard University and them completed a clinical training in psychoanalysis from 1970 to 1978 at the Toronto Institute of Psychoanalysis. He has taught at the University of Toronto and at the University of California at Berkeley.

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A Dark Science
Women, Sexuality And Psychiatry
in the Nineteenth Century
By Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson

Sioux Falls Feminists endorse A Dark Science for showing that doctors,
lawyers, gynecologists, and psychotherapists all closed ranks to
defend the abuse of women as pure female fantasy.
And furthermore if women were abused they were to blame.
Where have we heard all this before? The blaming
of women for their abuse continues to this day.