"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
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.