Girls and Their Monsters, Part 2


Exploring the connection between trauma and the etiology of schizophrenia, and the ways this connection was historically interpreted in the case of the Genain quadruplets.

What is the relationship between trauma and the etiology of schizophrenia? Psychiatric Times® Editorial Board Member Awais Aftab, MD, recently sat down with Audrey Clare Farley, PhD, to discuss Farley’s book, Girls and Their Monsters: The Genain Quadruplets and the Making of Madness in America.

In part 2 of their 3-part interview, Aftab and Farley discuss the background of researcher David Rosenthal, PhD, and his relationship with the Genain quadruplets. They also discuss the sexual and racial trauma experienced by the quadruplets, and the ways these traumas were interpreted by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) in their research between the 1950s and the 1990s.

See Part 1 of this interview here. Part 3 will be available soon at

Dr Aftab is a psychiatrist in Cleveland, Ohio, and clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University. He has been actively involved in initiatives to educate psychiatrists and trainees on the intersection of philosophy and psychiatry. He leads the interview series Conversations in Critical Psychiatry” for Psychiatric Times and he writes for his Substack newsletter “Psychiatry at the Margins.” He is also a member of the Psychiatric Times Editorial Board.

Dr Farley is a writer, editor, and scholar of 20th-century American culture with special interests in science and religion. She is the author of The Unfit Heiress: The Tragic Life and Scandalous Sterilization of Ann Cooper Hewitt and Girls and Their Monsters: The Genain Quadruplets and the Making of Madness in America, and her essays have appeared in The Atlantic, The New RepublicThe Washington Post, and many other outlets.

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