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Techno-sexual Landscapes

: Cleminson, Richard; Gordo-Lopez, Angel.

At first sight, to ask how sex has been influenced by technology over time may appear to be a perplexing question. There is no doubt about the current importance of the new technologies of reproduction, sex-change operations, and the passion that electronic chat-rooms incite. However, it might be argued, this is surely a recent phenomenon and the past has little to reveal about “techno-sexual” relations. Richard Cleminson and Angel Gordo-Lopez’s book draws on a number of examples of “productive” relations between technology and sexuality: the technical and sexual organisation of medieval monasteries, the moral and erotic transgression afforded by the early wind and water mill, and the romances forged in the context of the train. The authors focus on three main eras: the medieval period (around the 11th century with its monasteries as sites of technical innovation and heretical religious movements on the borders of Christianity); early modernity (from the time of the European “discoveries” and the creation of “others” including the natives of South America and the witch); and the present and the technologically-mediated future. What might be the connection between mills, navigation techniques and trains and the realm of sexuality? How does the government of sexuality and socio-economic relations in the 16th century across distances find resonance in cyberspace? Once the question of technology and sexuality has been placed in a long-term perspective, the reader is invited to reconsider relations often brushed aside, or devalued for their connection with “low”, popular or quotidian culture, practices and spaces. Acknowledging the uncomfortable social fact of “techno-sexuality” as a quotidian experience allows us to recuperate a range of often discounted or forgotten social actors, movements and landscapes. Read more…

Playing the Love Market: Dating, Romance and the Real World

: Cameron, Samuel; Collins, Alan

This book directly addresses the question of what is causing people, regardless of their sexuality to use more commercial means of searching for potential partners. The authors, Samuel Cameron and Alan Collins do this in a straightforward, realistic but generally neglected view by psychologists, sociologists, and other personal relationship professionals. They investigate the effectiveness and personal cost of searching for partners by different methods; how people trade off age, physical attractiveness and financial resources against each other; the risks of different dating methods; and the differences in the market for same-sex dating partners. While existing studies and guides to the dating process typically bypass the simple, inescapable and essential features of the way human beings proceed to instigate and assess relationships, the bottom line is that there is a market for potential relationship partners, in which individuals have to function to acquire dates. Like any market there is a supply and demand for the ‘good’ in question. This book shows how simple economic reasoning can explain many of the characteristics of the market for dating partners, and also suggest strategies for effective participation in this market. Read more…

Why Men Hate Women

: Jukes, Adam

What makes a man like John, in every respect a cultured and charming man, successful in his career and liked by his friends and acquaintances, behave violently towards a woman he says he loves? Is he sick? Is he different from other men? Is it, as he says, Jane’s fault? Does she like being beaten? Otherwise why would she go on doing what she knows upsets him? Adam Jukes hopes that by the end of his demanding but gripping book, the reader will be able to answer these questions. Adam Jukes works with men who are abusive and violent to women. In the last five years he has been involved in the London Men’s Centre, which offers dedicated programmes to men who are violent. He began working with abusive men as a psychodynamic psychotherapist, but as his work continued he found that the work of feminists in the refuge movement and in the ‘speaking bitterness’ literature could not be ignored. He integrates these two perspectives in his work. The way in which he presents men in this book will generate distress for those men who experience their masculinity as a burden – for he argues that misogyny, the hatred of women, is an inescapable element in the development of masculinity. But he also shows how the model of misogyny which informs the book is applied to an intervention programme to stop male abusiveness. This is a shocking book. Its thought-provoking view of the issues will be of great interest to mental health professionals and all concerned readers. Read more…

Scientification of Love

: Odent, Michel

Until recently love existed in the realm of poets, artists and philosophers. Latterly it has been studies from multiple scientific perspectives. The author argues that the specialist approach has overlooked the importance of love as a potential new strategy for human survival, and that the old survival strategy, the domination of nature and other human groups, is no longer appropriate. By weaving together data from a multitude of disciplines, Michel Odent is able to back up his argument in insightful and exciting ways, making the case for the adoption of radical new strategies for human survival. This revised edition includes two new chapters. Michel Odent is the author of The Farmer and the Obstetrician, also published by Free Association Books and and is more familiarly known as the obstetrician who introduced new birthing concepts which played a significant part in the radical change in attitudes towards maternity and childbirth in recent years. The author of 10 books in 19 languages, Dr Odent continues his research at the Primal Health Centre in London, which he founded. Read more…

Simians, Cyborgs and Women: The Reinvention of Nature

: Haraway, Donna

Donna Haraway analyses accounts, narratives, and stories of the creation of nature, living organisms, and cyborgs (cybernetic components) showing how deeply cultural assumptions penetrate into allegedly value-neutral medical research. Read more…

Pillar of Salt: Gender, Memory, and the Perils of Looking Back

: Haaken, Janice.

Recovered memory has become a contentious issue in therapy. For some, recovered memories are accurate images of actual events; for others, recovered memories are fictions termed false memory syndrome. This work moves beyond the poles pf “true: and “false” memories to show how women’s stories reveal layers of gendered and ambiguous meanings, spanning a wide historical, cultural, literary and clinical landscape. Janice Haaken provides an alternative reading of clinical material, showing how sexual storytelling traverses the symbolic and the “real” and how the cultural repression of desire remains as problematic for women as does the psychological legacy of trauma. Read more…

Counselling Women in Violent Relationships

: Lockley, Paul.

Violence against women is a serious and very common social problem which, paradoxically, is still under-resourced and little understood. Paul Lockley guides the reader through the reality of such violence and different perceptions of it. This leads to an examination of how the distorting lens of theory can rationalize such abusive behaviour, with the result that helpers can not only fail to be of assistance, but also put women at risk. This is a comprehensive and practical handbook in which the author, letting his clients do the talking, combines a hands-on approach with the application of recent research and established theory. The outcome is not just a call for counsellors to have a grasp of practical needs, an awareness of risks, and an empathy and non-judgmental view of clients. It also calls for a radical review of person-centre counselling wherein the skills, values and understanding are all shaped to take account of the power imbalance in violent relationships. This book should prove invaluable for counsellors, social workers, support workers or befrienders involved or likely to be involved in counselling women in violent relationships. Read more…

Sad Dad: An Exploration of Postnatal Depression in Fathers

: Olivia Spencer

Can fathers really get postnatal depression? What does this mean for their children and partners? How can we tell if a father is depressed? What can be done about it? Why has it gone undetected and under-acknowledged for so long? In a ground breaking project, the author explores recent research and  begins by asking whether the phenomenon is real. After interviewing a number of prominent experts she reaches a conclusion which will surprise many and could cause a shift in perceptions about childbirth. The author uses first hand accounts from fathers as well as contributions from experts like world-renowned obstetrician Michel Odent, writer and academic Andrew Solomon, psychotherapist Adam Jukes, paediatrician Aldo Naouri, and Jeszemma Garratt of the Fatherhood Institute who shed unique light on this potentially controversial but hitherto virtually unrecognised problem. Olivia Spencer is a writer and researcher living in London with her children and their father. Read more…

Comparative Treatments of Eating Disorders

: Miller, Katherine; Mizes, J Scott.

This volume edited by Katherine Miller, and J Scott Mizes addresses the treatment of eating disorders from the perspective of nine experts, each representing a specific treatment modality from psychoanalysis, cognitive-behavioural therapy, interpersonal psychothedrapy and the Adlerian approach, to developmental systemic feminist therapy, self-psychology therapy, integrative cognitive therapy, cognitive analytical therapy, and family therapy. Read more…