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By Janet Walker

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Extra info for Couching Resistance: Women, Film, and Psychoanalytic Psychiatry

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Even professional literature achieved high sales on the general market. 30 Sociologists claimed that the spread of psychoanalysis was indicative of and/or influenced the changing shape of American thought, society, and culture. Hendrick M. 31 Threading consistently through the popular representation of psychiatry, psychoanalysis, and psychology is the discourse that heralds these therapeutic practices as general panaceas for the dimly perceived social problems construed as individual problems. Psychiatry was not only marketed as an interesting offshoot of the sciences, but as a domain with clear practical uses, as well.

83 For example, in 1946, Komarovsky published the following summary of her sociological study: "[Women] college Seniors . . commonly face mutually exclusive expectations of their adult sex roles. 86 By the early 1960s great numbers of women were discovering that "there ha[d] been a persistent decline in the relative status of women since 1940 as measured by occupation, income, and even education,"87 and they were acting to rectify the inequity. If one major theme may be said to subtend this feminist point of view it is the critique of the nuclear family.

91 Kinsey's study went even further to point out that if vaginal orgasm is actually impossible, then many psychoanalysts and other clinicians had been leading women in a futile exercise when encouraging them to learn vaginal responses. 93 Although her proposed alterations in psychoanalytic theory are quite tame from a contemporary feminist perspective, they were radical enough to provoke the ire of some members of the psychoanalytic community. 94 20 Psychiatry after World War II The major challenge to rigid psychiatric notions of femininity came, of course, from the women's movement of the 1960s.

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