A Sexual Biography

By Paul R. Abramson

Subjects: Biography
Paperback : 9780873958639, 150 pages, June 1984
Hardcover : 9780873958622, 150 pages, June 1984

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Table of contents

Prologue: "The Role of Case Histories in Psychosexology"
by DonnByrne and Kathryn Kelley







Sarah is the detailed case history of a UCLA undergraduate, written by a UCLA psychology professor. It is a unique case of psychological survival. Despite vicious sexual abuse, Sarah has managed to adapt, survive, and grow.

Balancing the intense emotional impact of Sarah's first-person account, Dr. Abramson's commentary is interpolated throughout the record of Sarah's life. Sarah's story was obtained from seven months of interviewing, plus her diaries, drawings, family photographs, and four years of follow-ups, correspondence, and observations. This book is significant in that it documents psychological resolution in the face of endless abuse and trauma. Dr. Abramson provides an unusual perspective by focusing less on the damage associated with abuse and more on Sarah's gradual development of successful means of coping and surmounting negative patterns. He writes:

"If you read carefully, in between the abuse and self-destructive behaviors, Sarah emerges as an active, striving individual. Sarah does not give up—she is appalled, angry, depressed and confused, but she keeps fighting to maintain her integrity. The resolution of Sarah's existential dilemma was the emergence of faith in herself. "

Paul R. Abramson is Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles. Author of Personality: the Heuristic Perspective, he has also conducted extensive research and published widely in the field of human sexual behavior.