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ImpotenceA Cultural History$
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Angus McLaren

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780226500768

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226500935.001.0001

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The “Impotence Boom”

The “Impotence Boom”

From Kinsey to Masters and Johnson

(p.208) [9] The “Impotence Boom”
University of Chicago Press

In its October 1972 issue, Esquire carried a story by Philip Nobile which played off claims by alarmists such as Dr. George L. Ginsberg that in recent years there had been a marked rise in impotence, against the reassurances of Dr. Albert Ellis that only reports of such sexual dysfunctions had risen. In the decades between World War II and the 1980s, the media portrayed incapacitated males as casualties of the war, of the social pressures of the consumerist, conformist culture of the 1950s, and finally of the sexual revolution and the feminist movement of the 1960s and 1970s. These were the decades in which preeminent sex surveyor Alfred Kinsey and the therapists William H. Masters and Virginia E. Johnson became household names. In rewriting the sexual script, they popularized notions of new models of the sexual body, and in their very different ways advocated a shift in treatment of male dysfunctions away from psychotherapy and toward sex therapy.

Keywords:   Philip Nobile, impotence, sexual dysfunctions, sexual revolution, Alfred Kinsey, William H. Masters, Virginia E. Johnson, sex therapy, sexual body

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