Shere Hite, Who Challenged Myths of Female Sexuality, Dies at 77

Both later books had been broadly criticized as counting on unrepresentative samples of respondents. After the publication of “Women and Love,” which Time journal stated was merely an excuse for her “male-bashing,” Ms. Hite obtained demise threats within the mail and on her answering machine.

Many dismissed her as an offended feminist, although she had come to her feminism in a roundabout manner. As a graduate scholar at Columbia University, she earned cash for tuition as a part-time mannequin. One of the manufacturers she posed for was Olivetti typewriters, which confirmed her as a leggy blonde caressing the keys. But when she noticed the advert’s tagline — “The typewriter so smart, she doesn’t have to be” — she was horrified and shortly joined a bunch of girls picketing the Olivetti workplaces in opposition to the very advert she was in.

That led to her attending conferences of the New York chapter of the National Organization for Women. At one assembly, by her account, the subject was the feminine orgasm and whether or not all girls had them. There was silence, till somebody steered that Ms. Hite look into the matter. When she noticed how little analysis had been performed, she started what would develop into “The Hite Report.”

The tidal wave of anger and resentment in opposition to her impressed 12 outstanding feminists, together with Gloria Steinem and Barbara Ehrenreich, to denounce the media assaults on her as a conservative backlash directed not a lot in opposition to one lady as “against the rights of women everywhere.”

And it fueled Ms. Hite’s choice to surrender her American passport, depart the nation and settle in Europe, the place she felt her concepts had been extra accepted.

“I renounced my citizenship in 1995,” she wrote in 2003 in The New Statesman. “After a decade of sustained attacks on myself and my work, particularly my ‘reports’ into female sexuality, I no longer felt free to carry out my research to the best of my ability in the country of my birth.”

The New York Times caught up along with her in Germany in 1996 within the residence she shared along with her German husband, Friedrich Horicke, a pianist, in Cologne. “The hunted look she had during her last years in the United States has long gone,” The Times wrote, “and she has regained her sense of humor — but only because she is, at last, being taken seriously.”

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