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The Psychosexual Counselling Tapes of Dr Joan Malleson: New Theories

Citation: Borge, Jessica (2012) The Psychosexual Counselling Tapes of Dr Joan Malleson: New Theories. Masters thesis, University of London.

IHR Thesis Joan Malleson Tapes J Borge Oct 2012_.pdf

Creative Commons: Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

The aim of this study is to facilitate use of a little-known source, The Malleson Tapes, for future researchers of the history of sexuality and of sex counselling, by offering new theories on the function and provenance of the source in historical context. The Malleson Tapes comprise eighteen recorded case studies of psychosexual counselling consultations with women and men, made by Dr. Joan Malleson in London, in winter 1955-1956. Malleson was an outspoken contraceptive advisor, sex counsellor and educator, who had been active in progressive social and medical movements, particularly the Family Planning Association [FPA], since the 1920s. Potentially, the recordings offer unique insights into the doctorpatient encounter in a psychosexual counselling situation. However, little is known about The Tapes themselves. Malleson’s son, Andrew, donated them to the Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine (hereafter WL), via Hera Cook, in 2003. Prior to this, they had been in his possession since his mother died in 1956, and were unknown in academia. Cook recently presented a phenomenological appraisal on selected content from six tapes at an IHR Women’s History seminar in June 2012, but historical narratives surrounding the source overall are scant. This paper attempts to present a foundational investigation of The Tapes’ provenance and likely intended functions with a view to facilitating future research.

Creators: Borge, Jessica and
Subjects: History
Sociology & Anthropology
Keywords: Psychosexual counselling, Joan Malleson, Family Planning Association, audio tapes, gender, ethics
Divisions: Institute of Historical Research
Collections: Dissertation
Theses and Dissertations
  • 30 September 2012 (submitted)
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