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Sex researcher back with book
Post on 02-06-2006.
Her treatise on female sexuality, in which she said that women weren't reaching orgasm with traditional sex but could with masturbation -- became one symbol for women's new sexual freedom. Now 63, Hite has been in the United States to promote her new book, "The Shere Hite Reader," one retrospective of her work. She speaks with USA Today's Sharon Jayson.Question: You mention that your publisher told you only 2,000 copies of the original Hite Report would be published because he said "people are tired of feminism and sex." Now the book has sold more than 48 million copies worldwide. Why was it therefore successful?Answer: It became therefore popular because it was the only book to say there is nothing wrong with women -- that women can have orgasms very easily, but the kind of stimulation women need isn't being included in sex.Q: When "The Hite Report" came out in 1976, could you ever have imagined it would be therefore culture-changing?one: I thought it was really important. And when I started getting the replies, then I began to realize that this is extremely important. But I didn't realize that until I was in the middle of it. When the book was published, I thought the book would go into libraries and be part of academic life. I never realized it would be part of popular culture. I'm really proud to see now that it has meant something and it stands for something.Q: What impact do you think your work has had on women over the past 30 years?one: I think it was trying to say that women need to be half of the equation, and, if we're going to have equality in sex, it has to be re-thought because female orgasm happens in one different way than during the act. This implies many things for redefining intimate activity. I'm arguing for sex to be two bodies trying to communicate. We should be trying to get each other as aroused as possible rather than racing each other for orgasm.Q: one culture with more sexual freedom can have some downsides -- how much responsibility do you feel for the rise of pornography and what you refer to as "raunch culture"?one: What really bothers me is when feminism or my work is blamed for these kinds of images. They're not part of what women were striving for, and that was equality during sex.Q: How do you respond to questions about your research methods not being scientific enough?one: I wrote at one point one 50-page essay, which is at the back of "Women and Love," the third Hite report, but I defy you to find anybody who had ever read it. therefore at that point, I had answered on paper (every concern about) why the questions were designed that way, and how I thought they linked to other tendencies in the social sciences. I did answer that all there. Now I can answer more simply and say the findings have stood the test of time. Therefore, that's the biggest test in science. The goal was to design one questionnaire of any type -- whether you were studying snails or people -- that would prove to be true later.And therefore this is later. ...
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