The Centerfold Syndrome: How Men Can Overcome Objectification and Achieve Intimacy with Women

The Centerfold Syndrome: How Men Can Overcome Objectification and Achieve Intimacy with Women

by Gary R. Brooks
     
 

Here is the first candid analysis of how boys are conditioned to pursue those air-brushed fantasies, how they're brought up to both depAnd on and yet fear the power they perceive women to hold over them, as gatekeepers to this precious commodity: their objectified body parts! And most importantly, how this syndrome prevents true emotional intimacy between men

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Overview

Here is the first candid analysis of how boys are conditioned to pursue those air-brushed fantasies, how they're brought up to both depAnd on and yet fear the power they perceive women to hold over them, as gatekeepers to this precious commodity: their objectified body parts! And most importantly, how this syndrome prevents true emotional intimacy between men and women.In this groundbreaking book, Gary R. Brooks identifies the five principal symptoms of voyeurism, or "I can't stop watching gorgeous women''; objectification, or obsessive fetishism over body parts (breasts and bottoms) that interfere with the ability to have relationships with an actual person; the need for validation, or "Women have great power to make or break my sense of masculinity''; trophyism, or "Beautiful women are collectibles that show the world who a man is''; and the fear of intimacy, or "I'm desperately lonely but deeply fearful of getting too close.''Dr. Brooks also offers a way to overcome this insidious and destructive malady. Using actual case histories and transcripts from groups he has conducted over many years, he documents how a variety of men from different backgrounds have struggled to escape the depersonalization, the isolation, the sense of frustration and powerlessness of the Centerfold Syndrome. In stories that are both inspiring and instructive, the author demonstrates their successes and setbacks in efforts to achieve mature and more meaningful relationships with wives and partners.Both men and women will appreciate the honesty and candor of The Centerfold Syndrome. The author offers specific guidelines and a practical plan of action for all of us in our various roles as friAnds, lovers, partners, husbands, wives, parents, and responsible citizens in an era of rapidly changing gAnder relations.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Brooks offers hope and concrete suggestions in generous doses. . . . The Centerfold Syndrome, though chilling sometimes in its bluntness, is a window into the psyche of the typical American male. I recommAnd it highly to clinician and lay person alike as a very informative and readable book." —The Journal of Family Psychotherapy

"This book will open men's minds and hearts to a very different way to approach male-female relationships." —Ronald F. Levant, Diplomate in Clinical Psychology, Cambridge Hospital/Harvard Medical School, co-author of Masculinity Reconstructed

"A 'must read' for men, therapists who work with men, and for all who love men." —Terry A. Kupers, M.D., psychiatrist, author of Revisioning Mens' Lives: GAnder, Intimacy and Power

"Never preachy, always compassionate and sensible, Dr. Brooks will prove a steady companion for any man who wants to make changes in his sexual life." —Kathy Weingarten, assistant professor of psychology, Harvard Medical School, author of The Mother's Voice: Strengthening Intimacy in Familes

Library Journal
Brooks's (Texas A&M, psychology) supposition is that men have been given the Penthouse and Playboy centerfolds as a cultural idea of the perfect woman to seek out. Unfortunately, the icon does not usually live up to reality, and the discrepancy can prevent mature male/female interpersonal relations and intimacy. The centerfold syndrome, indoctrinated sometimes subtly, depersonalizes women, perpetuates anatomical falsities, and creates idealized and unreal fantasies about sex and sexuality; in short, it makes women objects of conquest, not people to interact with. The elements of this syndrome include (1) voyeurism (omnipresent images of naked and near-naked women), (2) objectification (women become objects to be observed), (3) need for validation through sexual conquest, (4) trophyism (women's bodies as trophies to be "collected"), and (5) fear of intimacy (insensitivity to emotional needs and issues). Brooks presents discussion in one of his men's groups as an example of the syndrome, goes on to debunk conventional wisdom, then provides some dozen modi operandi for overcoming it (to create harmony in one's sensual, sexual, social, spiritual, and emotional self). Appropriate and recommended for the men's self-help section of public libraries and psychology collections in community and senior college libraries.Scott Johnson, Meridian Community Coll. Lib., Miss.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780787901042
Publisher:
Wiley
Publication date:
08/15/1995
Series:
Psychology Series
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.69(d)

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