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Views & Reviews Medical Classics

Psychopathia Sexualis

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 16 March 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c1443
  1. John A S Beard, ST2, general practice, Oxford

    Preceding Freud’s work in the area of sexuality by two decades, Richard von Krafft-Ebing’s study of deviant sexual behaviour was a colourful psychiatric text that was widely read in the European psychiatric community. Psychopathia Sexualis has been described as “a kind of schoolboy’s masturbatory compendium,” dealing as it does with behaviour such as fetishism, sadism, masochism, and exhibitionism. This content could mislead the observer into thinking that the book equated to little more than risqué literature for the masses. It is true that it attracted much …

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