History of Female Madness in the APA Monitor

The Time Capsule section of December issue of the APA Monitor on Psychology features a piece on the history of female madness, which highlights patient voices in nineteenth century debates over sexual surgeries. The article, authored by Laura Ball and Jennifer Bazar (far right and far left), is based in part on a presentation they were part of at APA’s 2009 Annual Convention: “Lusty ladies or Victorian victims: Perspectives on women, madness and sexuality” (see AHP’s previous post on the presentation here). In the article, Ball and Bazar contend that,

To gain insight into why patients selected one treatment over another, a number of factors need to be considered, including the relationship between patients and their physicians during the 19th century; the status of medicine and related professions; the role of politics, the law and shifting societal norms; the influence of friends or family; and the intersections of gender, race, class and other social categories on patient decision-making. This process was very individual and certainly varied depending on which combination of factors influenced the particular person most.

You can find the full article here. The History of Science Society Newsletter article on “Lusty ladies or Victorian victims” can be found here.

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About Jacy Young

Jacy Young is a doctoral student in the History and Theory of Psychology program at York University. Her dissertation explores the early history of questionnaires in American psychology.

3 thoughts on “History of Female Madness in the APA Monitor

  1. Nice work!! The Lusty Ladies also did a command performance, with Jacy Young serving as understudy for Lisa Held, at Carleton Univeristy this past September. The question on everyone’s mind: when will the Lusty Ladies post on YouTube??

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