Exhibitionism


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Abstract

Reviews the book, Exhibitionism by N. K. Rickles (1950). Dr. Rickles' book “Exhibitionism” clearly shows the ways society, like individuals, approaches serious problems which it is unwilling to face: it either ignores them or treats them with contempt. Exhibitionism, which, according to statistics cited by the author, accounts for more than one-third of our so-called sex-crimes, is one such problem. In fact, Rickles' book may be regarded as an appeal for a dispassionate treatment of a behavior deviation with tremendous social, legal, and psychological-psychiatric implications which can no longer be evaded. This slim volume, written by a psychiatrist who, as former director of the Behavior Clinic of King County, Washington, has had extensive experience with sexual offenders referred by the courts, advances the thesis that exhibitionism is the pathologic exaggeration of a universal and natural impulse, that it is merely a symptom of a deeper-lying disorder involving the total personality, and must be dealt with as such. In twelve concise chapters supplemented by an appendix of seven short case histories and a bibliography, Dr. Rickles presents a monograph which is remarkably clearly and simply written, and in a spirit of modesty and humility truly befitting the clinical investigator. Without claiming to have written a definitive treatise on the subject, Rickles has supplied a thoroughly dynamic interpretation. Dr. Rickles' book fills a real need; its lucid presentation of a difficult problem commends it to the attention of all persons concerned with the study, understanding and amelioration of social ills. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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