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The Woman Reader 1837–1914$
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Kate Flint

Print publication date: 1995

Print ISBN-13: 9780198121855

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198121855.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 03 December 2021

Medical, Physiological and Psychoanalytic Theory

Medical, Physiological and Psychoanalytic Theory

(p.53) 4 Medical, Physiological and Psychoanalytic Theory
The Woman Reader 1837–1914

Kate Flint

Oxford University Press

Throughout the Victorian and early Edwardian period, theories about how women’s modes of reading differed from those of men, and why they should be affected so strongly by what they read, were inseparably linked to those developments in physiology and psychology which found, demonstrated, and utilized evidence for the intimate interrelations of mind and body. Women’s experience of their bodies in social relations is inevitably different from that of men, and women’s bodies unarguably are distinct from men’s in terms of their separate reproductive systems. More controversially, however, biological difference was asserted to lie behind unalterable gender differences in the physical constitution of the brain, and hence in its operation. With the near-universal acceptance of the inescapable relation of brain and body, it is unsurprising that focusing on the physiological difference between women and men formed the basis for a number of apparently authoritative theories concerning women and reading.

Keywords:   women, reading, psychology, physiology, Edwardian period, Victorian period, brain, mind, gender differences, body

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