Letter: Emotional health

Sir: I and many of my clinical colleagues admit to growing weary of Professor Anthony Clare's "analyses" of complex human problems in tabloid terms, the latest of which knocks off male sexuality in a couple of columns ("Idle, sad and baffled by sex. What's wrong with men?", 14 November) around the relatively bland thesis "the union of one man and one woman is the sensible way for hetero-

sexual men".

Clare's tendency to generalise omits a central, defining feature of male and female sexuality. Namely, that the fulfilment or otherwise of our sexual identity is bound inextricably to the fate and quality of our relationships with others, and this begins in infancy. Sexuality has its roots in biology but expresses itself most deeply and fully through the capacity for sustained intimacy, which is a psychological accomplishment. Clare appears to conceive of men and women as barely related species fraught with incomprehension.

A capacity to relate in depth to either sex is a prerequisite for emotional and sexual health.

More on people, less on penises, please, Professor.