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By Alison M. Moore
This primary significant research of a interestingly missed time period within the historical past of sexuality will intrigue scholars, students and fans alike. The authors take us via a trip throughout 4 centuries, exhibiting how notions of sexual coldness and frigidity were considered by means of felony, scientific, psychiatric, psychoanalytic and literary writers.
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Additional info for Frigidity: An Intellectual History
A dominant view within that tradition was that a natural difference in bodily humour caused women to be naturally cool while men were naturally warm. To the extent that that was so, ‘frigidity’ did not present as a problem requiring medical, legal or ecclesial intervention. There, coldness, or at least coolness, in women was a quite unremarkable thing. From time to time, as we will show briefly in Chapters 2, 4 and 7, this notion of natural bodily temperament interfered or intersected with that of frigidity, but the two were in general terms conceptually discrete.
2 And they were guilty of a further omission that he was seeking to rectify. This second corrective purpose was not articulated with the first by any strict logic, but simply appeared alongside it, as it would often do in the course of the nineteenth century. Not only should the moral and the physical be brought closer together, but it was also time for medicine to pay closer attention to women: While on the one hand philosophes have closely observed the moral, doctors on the other have developed the physical, at least as far as that is possible.
From time to time, as we will show briefly in Chapters 2, 4 and 7, this notion of natural bodily temperament interfered or intersected with that of frigidity, but the two were in general terms conceptually discrete. The primary concern of this book is to understand how, where and when gendered frigidity came to be constituted as a disorder. It was considered as such in the writings of canonists like Zacchia, and again in the nineteenth century, as we shall shortly see. Yet even if it is accepted that these were the two decisive phases in the history of frigidity prior to the twentieth century, it remains to be seen whether, taken together, they constitute a genealogy in the proper sense of the word.
Frigidity: An Intellectual History by Alison M. Moore