5 JANUARY 1974, Page 4

Medicine and morality

From Dr Peggy Norris

Sir: If Claire Rayner's credibility as a suitable adviser on sex education is to survive she will have to do better than simply accuse Dr J. Linklater and Mrs V. Riches of having antediluvian delusions that blindness and madness are sequelae to masturbation. The childish content of her letter can

hardly be ascribed to an emotionally mature adult. As an adviser to the Health Education Council and the Family Planning Association one expects some evidence of awareness that human sexuality is much more cerebro-centric than genito-centric. Clair Rayner should tell her young readers in Petticoat that "the hang-up to liberation is the supposed need for sex. This must be refuted, coped with, dernythified, or the cause of female liberation is doomed. We are programmed to crave sex." "It sells consumer goods" (Dr Jessie Bernard — The Futurist, April 1970). Similarly, Derek Wright writing in Life (November 6, 1970) says "sexual motivation is to a very large extent cultivated. We could, therefore, progressively decondition ourselves and considerably reduce our sexual desire if we wished ... liberation in sex means in fact being able to take it or leave it."

Both authors are pointing to the authentic direction of liberation. This direction is not away from sexuality, but deeper within it, so that genitality is finally in context and in perspective, "it becomes more embued with freedom, less driven by compulsion." (New Dynamic in Sexual Love, R. M. -Joyce). This authentic sexual freedom does not lessen the value of genitality but increases it by intensifying its quality while moderating its quantity.

Peggy Norris 104 Tarbock Road, Huyton