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- Publié sur Amazon.com
"The Hite Report" (on female sexuality) is a seminal and indispensible text. It is by turn shocking, inspiring, disturbing, titillating, and sometimes boring, but always informative. What you get is practically PURE information, but of a sort rarely found elsewhere -- if sex weren't sex, the report would be a bone-dry academic snoozefest. Along with a bit of methodology and comment, the book's content is simply collected testimonies of American womens' subjective experiences of their sexuality. The reader is left to draw his or her own conclusions. As a study it assumes no strong thesis (unlike some of Hite's later work), therefore as a critic one can't say much more about it. That said, although the good people at Amazon insist we reviewers focus on the "product," I have something to add about my experience of the "product" that may be of more interest.
Back in the late 70's, my mother, in uncharacteristic daring and playfulness, shelved an early edition of the "The Hite Report" next to her cookbooks on the kitchen bookshelf and left it there. Years later, around the age of 13, her son (me) noticed this book was not like the other ones. Needless to say, after reading just a bit standing there in the kitchen, the son absconded with it to his room and read the whole thing. And reread. Many times. It was years before it got replaced next to "Larouse Gastronomique. " To this day, it lives there, and I've never asked Mom if she ever noticed its leave of absence.
My primary purpose at the time was titillation, but underneath my arousal was a sense of wonder and curiousity. Feminine sexuality was demystified for me even as my awe grew. Looking back, I see how I formed the basis of a deeply respectful understanding of the power of ALL sexuality. I accepted how taboos, shame, etc. might form around sex, but that sex in and of itself was not just neutral, but beautiful and precious. I authentically experienced what many (I believe) can only offer as a platitude or abstraction.
I could go on about what good I think "The Hite Report" did for me, but more important to me now is that it helped me become both a good lover and a good friend. As a young adult, having been taught to think I was "just a guy," I was repeatedly surprised to find myself being more insightful, accepting and compassionate about the twists and turns of many of my female companion's sexuality than they, their girlfriends, their mothers, or even their therapists could be. I don't say this to brag, but as a heartfelt testimonial to the educational and maturational value of having read this book during the right formative years. I was fortunate. In fact, I paused to write this review while shopping for a copy for a friend whom I wish could have read it 15 years ago.
Everybody, regardless of gender or background, should be availed of "The Hite Report" at the apporpriate age by the approriate person (and perhaps the report on male sexuality too). The only drawback to this report is its age; while it is incorrect to call it outdated, mores and customs do change, and a study like this should be repeated at least once a generation.