For Whitman, amativeness
refers only to opposite-sex attraction, while adhesiveness only to same-sex attraction.
In addition, he was found to have qualities indicative of an "healthy American male," those being Amativeness
(desire for physical love), Adhesiveness (attachment to others), Self-Esteem, and Individuality.
"Division" came to be the hallmark by which Whitman could separate "adhesiveness," his word for same-sex love, from "amativeness
," his word for male-female love.
In the case of Milkman, the amativeness
and terror that he associates with the dream of the witch may be connected with the oedipal overtones of the nursing he has been subjected to by his mother.
Whereas phrenology proposed complex functions that appealed to the intuitions of Victorian Europeans, such as amativeness
, friendship, hope, and suavity, the current view holds that discrete regions of brain tissue are responsible for more elementary functions, such as independent visual analysis of color, form, and motion, the control of muscle groups, and auditory sensation (e.g., see Kandel, Schwartz, & Jessel, 1991).
It was, for example, accepted wisdom among medical writers on madness that violent passions - especially, among women, 'amativeness
' - could cause insanity.(31) Doctors also agreed that insanity was a hereditary disease.(32) A tendency to mental illness in a woman was apt to be activated by pregnancy and childbirth.(33) Fevers, especially in the young, were particularly dangerous in that they could cause a permanent weakness in the brain 'which continues when the other parts of the body have recovered their healthy tone'.(34) 'Sleep is often disturbed in Insanity', and 'there is the greatest analogy between dreams and various symptoms' of madness.(35) All these circumstances are relevant to Catherine's case, as is Spurzheim's connection between extreme selfishness and insanity.(36)
Though critic Harold Bloom finds him the bard of onanism - the "body electric" seems to have been chiefly his own - it was Whitman's heterosexual references ("amativeness
") that scandalized his contemporaries, rather his than his paeans to male bonding ("adhesiveness").
Callow reports his visit to the prophet in decline at Mickle Street, where the poet is still fending off the 'amativeness
' of Mrs.