The Etherized Wife: Privilege and Power in Sex Therapy Discourse

ISBN : 9780190061203

Leslie Margolin
232 Pages
156 x 235 mm
Pub date
Feb 2021
Send mail

The Etherized Wife seeks to provide a comprehensive examination of the evolution of sex therapy through the prism of gender. It focuses, in particular, on how sex therapists "treat" women's sexual problems, arguing that these practices have actually enshrined male sexuality and supremacy by advocating for heterosexual intercourse as the pinnacle of a healthy sex life. It holds that in sex, like other domains of life in which men set the standard of normality, women have been judged normal to the degree they match men's expectations. To support these claims, Margolin maps a series of case studies drawn from the sex therapy literature-the articles and books that have been, and continue to be treated as exemplar's of the discipline's collective consciousness. Through examination of case studies which focus on discrepancies in sexual desire, where the male partner wants more sex and the female wants less, the book shows how therapists have favored the male's side. The Etherized Wife shows how the sex therapy discipline has upheld male sexuality as the model of normal, natural, healthy sexuality.


Part 1: Sex Therapy Pre-history
1. Freud, Dora, and Compulsory Sexuality
2. The Frigidity Epidemic
Part 2: Birth of Sex Therapy
3. Masters and Johnson, and the Primacy of Intercourse
4. Male Identification
5. Docile Bodies
Part 3: Contemporary Sex Therapy
6. Doublethink
7. Men's Free Will
8. Women's Duty
9. Sex Therapy without Male Privilege and Power
10. Discontinuities, Deviations, and Reversals
11. Conclusion

About the author: 

Leslie Margolin is a professor of rhetoric, sexuality, and counselling at the University of Iowa. Margolin's previous books include Goodness Personified: The Emergence of Gifted Children and Under the Cover of Kindness: The Invention of Social Work.

The price listed on this page is the recommended retail price for Japan. When a discount is applied, the discounted price is indicated as “Discount price”. Prices are subject to change without notice.