The Hite Reports: What do they say?

 

The Hite Report on Female Sexuality (1976, Macmillan and Bertelsmann) 

Demonstrates that most women need clitoral or exterior stimulation for orgasm; that orgasm is easy and strong, given the right stimulation: that most women have orgasm most easily during masturbation; that sex as we define it is a cultural institution, not a biological one, that it should be changed to include the stimulation women desire.

 

The Hite Report on Male Sexuality (1981, Alfred Knopf and Bertelsmann)

Shows the broad range of male eroticism, contrasted with the limited ‘drive for penetration’ model men are told should be their focus; documents male psycho-sexuality, such as ‘why do men want coitus?’ and finds, among other things, that most men do not marry the women they most passionately love, but prefer to stay ‘in control’ and are proud of their ‘rational choice’

 

Women and Love (Frauen and Liebe) ( 1987, Alfred Knopf and Bertelsmann) 

The most controversial of the Hite Reports, this book contains a debate between over 3,000 women about the nature of love: is love passion, or is love caring for someone? As women have been assigned the role of love-givers and caretakers by the society, now that women are re-thinking their identity, what kind of love do women feel is the kind worth having? Is ‘love’ just a manipulation of women (to keep them serving), or is love real, and if so, what kinds of love?

 

The Hite Report in he Family (1994, Bloomsbury and Droemer-Knauer)

Though politicians today say ‘the family is collapsing’, in fact the family is becoming democratised, people are making new choices about how and with whom to live, the ‘traditional family’ kept women in a subservient position, and so today the women want to make their relationship with a man inside a ‘traditional family’ more equal, or they are choosing new kinds of families – including close-knit groups of friends, relatives and single mother (mother-child) families. Also, a new analysis of growing up male puts forth a new theory about how men learn to connect their erotic feelings and violence to women, during the time at puberty when they must ‘reject their mother’ and stop being ‘tied to your mother’s apron strings’, ‘ a sissy’ or ‘a wimp’. Growing up female puts forth a new icon for girls, since in the model of the traditional family – Mary, Jesus and Joseph – there is a son but no daughter. Shows that most girls may not have a hymen, that the concept of ‘virginity’ may be a culturally created expectation..

 

Women with Women (Wie Frauen Frauen Schen) (1997, Europa Verlag)

 *New theories about relationships between women. People say, ‘Women are 51% of the population, if they want change, why don’t they vote for it??! This taunt that may have some truth to it i.e. women need not all love each other (men surely do not love all other men), but why women are not forming alliances that create larger institutions? The thesis proposed here: there is an unidentified taboo on loyalty between women, covered over by the trivialisation of women and remarks that ‘women can never get along, they are silly.’

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