Medicine: Beneath Genteel Externals

A man telling an obscene limerick is not just a man trying to amuse his friends. Such is the conclusion of Dr. Raoul Weston LaBarre of Uniontown, Pa., social anthropologist who has studied the customs of Bolivian Indians, done psychiatric research at the Topeka clinic of Dr. Karl Augustus Menninger (The Human Mind, Man Against Himself). Young Dr. LaBarre, observing gatherings of limerick-telling U. S. males, and analyzing the content of the limericks, decided that he was in the presence of otherwise normal people unconsciously betraying their repressions and inhibitions. These categories of limericks indicated to him these inhibitions and repressions...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!