Chapter 1 The Domina: Early Psychological Perspectives on the Female Sadist

In: Evil Women: Representations within Literature, Culture and Film
Author:
Elizabeth Schreiber-Byers
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Abstract

According to early psychologists and sexologists, female sadism was one of the least common paraphilias. Often seen as the complimentary creation of the male masochist, the female sadist came to embody coldness and cruelty in opposition to the nineteenth-century sentimental woman. This paper will examine the writings of early psychologists, like Richard von Krafft-Ebing of Austria, Havelock Ellis of Britain, and Albert Eulenburg of Germany, on feminine evil and sadism by interrogating the source material upon which they relied, as well as considering how these early sources have influenced the way female sadists and sexual sadism more generally are discussed.

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