Medium 9781782204947

Changing Sexualities and Parental Functions in the Twenty-First Century

Views: 186
Ratings: (0)

Recent societal changes have challenged long-established concepts in psychoanalysis, including the Oedipus complex, parental functions, and male and female psychosexuality. 'Postmodern families', based on sexual and emotional exchanges independent of gender, now include homoerotic couples who adopt children, or who create them through assisted fertilisation, as well as single parent families and blended families. A number of highly-renowned Latin American psychoanalysts have drawn attention to the urgency of revising theoretical and clinical concepts in the light of these new scenarios. In this book, they open up ideas which cover familiar territory of current concerns in psychoanalytic work, as well as other little-explored areas, with the emphasis on evolving sexualities and new experiences of parenthood. The first section revisits psychoanalytic theories, particularly parental functions in the area of sexuality and gender. The following section discusses new family configurations, and vicissitudes of the desire to have a child in men and women, with the authors presenting some psychic consequences for parents in therapy who have turned to assisted fertilisation. The third section, on sexual diversity and the neosexualities, includes the topics of intersexuality, the fantasy of neuter gender, countertransference in psychotherapy with gender identity disorders patients, and same-sex parenting. The final section pays tribute to Mariam Alizade, overall chair of COWAP from 2001-2005. As our psychoanalytic thinking and practice becomes more complex and sophisticated, our understanding of the analytic process is correspondingly deepened.

List price: $28.99

Your Price: $23.19

You Save: 20%

Remix
Remove
 

16 Chapters

Format Buy Remix

Chapter One - The Decline of the Father: Paternal Function or Third-Party Function?

ePub

Leticia Glocer Fiorini

Introduction

Recent decades have seen much discussion regarding the anthropological, social, cultural, and psychological meaning of the nuclear family and its functions. Some of the themes explored clearly concern the psychoanalytic field, especially if we consider that the Oedipus complex replicates the organisation of the nuclear family. More specifically, in reference to the functions of its members, mother and father, both practical, everyday functions as well as those exercised on a symbolic level. These two levels are different, but there is a correlation between them.

Although these debates date quite far back, they have been intensified by diverse and very significant factors that we observe in contemporary societies, mainly occidental, but presently expanding to other cultures. Some changes in family organisation (single-sex parents, assembled and single parent families) are widely known, to which we may add the frequent phenomena of “castling” in everyday functions of mothers and fathers, since work and caring for children are not tasks assignable to fathers and mothers, respectively. Also quite significant are changes in the place occupied by women, again mainly in occidental societies, from women's access to the workforce, marked by the First World War, to the use of contraceptives. We might add the advances in techniques of assisted fertilisation that allow not only heterosexual couples, but also homosexual and non-conventional couples, as well as single persons, to have biological children. Changes in legislation in many countries also induce us to reflect on the influence of this topic on our practice.

 

Chapter Two - When a Symbolic Lack of Parental Functions Produces Pain without a Subject

ePub

Juan-Eduardo Tesone

“I suffer knowing I am involved in myself, and I suffer this in a suffocation of conclusions…. The only real art is that of construction”

(Pessoa, 2002, translated for this edition)

The concept of fantasy in Freud inevitably refers to the concept of perception, based on what is inscribed in the subject from conscious or unconscious perceptions. Now, if Freud considers that in fantasy construction, as in dreams, the subject is always present, could we say that a person may have sensory experiences, events that remain outside the subjective field and, therefore, of fantasy? Furthermore, if this were true, what meta-psychological status and implications would they have in clinical work with whatever provokes a lasting psychic effect, an effect of memory outside the field of the lifting of repression and of fantasy? Is there parental lack that could produce psychic inscription without a subject (Tesone, 2009)?

Psychoanalysis in the past twenty years has turned its interest not only towards fantasy, but also to what may be figured or represented, in opposition not so much to what may not be represented as to what is not represented but, rather, inscribed. As highlighted by Sara and Cesar Botella (1992), non-representation originates neither in repression nor in denial and is not an effect of the castration complex or the product of an ego mechanism. It is by taking into consideration a hole, a negativity manifested in psychic dynamics in the form of an alteration of a process, most frequently expressed as a defect in thinking, that they postulate it as being like memory without memories. In this regard, we re-encounter Bion's (1962) proposals regarding thoughts without a thinker.

 

Chapter Three - The Dynamics between “the Internal Bad Mother” and the Construction of the “Bad Child”

ePub

Emilce Dio Bleichmar

“There is no such a thing as an infant…the infant and the maternal care together form a unit”

(Winnicott, 1965, p. 39)

Introduction

The aim of this chapter is to describe some aspects of the inner world of mothers regarding their children and establish links between what psychoanalytic practice has allowed us to learn about maternal subjectivity and the descriptions given by empirical studies on early dyadic interaction. I explore a particular, but fairly frequent, mental state in many mothers analysed: a permanent, lurking feeling that they do not comply with the ideal mother model, that they cannot be “a good enough mother”.

This clinical finding raises several questions. Are these women, and perhaps women in general, prone to developing a severe superego when they become mothers? Is this superego based only on the ambivalent relationship with their own mothers, on their aggressiveness towards their pre-oedipal or oedipal mothers? Or is it also based, in addition to historical factors, on specific factors: on how maternity is culturally sanctioned in the time of the actual maternity?

 

Chapter Four - Secrets and Revelations: Vicissitudes of the Maternal Function

ePub

Cândida Sé Holovko

In this chapter, I revisit the notion of maternal function as proposed by the École de Paris, believing that this approach expands the possibilities of reflection on psychopathology that have had an impact on psychoanalytic clinical work today. I am also concerned about the lack of promotion of this concept in Latin America.

I discuss some episodes of the psychoanalytic process of a twenty-five-year-old woman, who has been bulimic since the age of fifteen. In this particular case, I try to reflect upon the consequences of an insufficiency of the maternal function and how it was possible for the analysis to widen the psychic space of this analysand, whose suffering was so intense that she could barely grasp it, due to living in a kind of forced exile. I stress particularly the moments where the compulsive bulimic behaviour as a prime defence is replaced and transformed into a more neurotic narrative, that is, psychic experiences, where representations and linked affects appear. I also propose some hypotheses about the vicissitudes of the maternal function in this particular case. The notion of maternal function that I use tries to account for the creation of a psychic apparatus capable of managing the impacts of existence. It also provides an aid to understanding of the psychopathologies that might occur through deficits in the foundations of this introjective function.

 

Chapter Five - Bereaved Families after Neonatal Death

ePub

Teresa Lartigue

Introduction

In Western culture, when two individuals in a committed relationship of love and intimacy have decided to have or adopt children, it is believed that the couple is transformed into a family, the fundamental unit of the social world. In general, the family is formed as a result of the couple's life and as a typical institution of adult life. Few decisions are as significant as that of bringing children to the world, which imposes on the couple the condition of living in a triangular structure, that of the Oedipus complex, which is fundamental to the development of human beings.

At the same time, the family is the basic unit that provides the adequate resources to satisfy fundamental human needs and forms the smallest, but optimal, unit to perpetuate society. The family transmits norms and behavioural codes, myths and beliefs, language, traditions, ethical precepts, and rules about gender relationships as a couple and with other members of society. Thus, the family is a key building block with which society is formed; however, it is worth noting that there are as many modalities of the family institution as diverse cultures in the world (Vives & Lartigue, 2003). The family is also a space for the containment of psychological and somatic suffering, and it creates an environment in which the capacity for communication and thought develops (Losso, 2001).

 

Chapter Six - Adolescent Maternity in Critical Social Context: a Perspective from the Psychoanalyst's Hilflosigkeit

ePub

Ema Ponce de León Leiras

Introduction

The issue of adolescent maternity requires that we reconsider our ideas on adolescence in view of the proposal of several authors who prefer to talk about “adolescences”. This emerges from evidence that the socio-cultural context leads to new clinical interventions that will work within the framework of subjectivity and the social aspects that run through it. Our theories and concepts remain an essential reference, but should be more open than ever to question and transformation, just like the analyst's mind itself.

My experience in this subject arises from my work as a psychotherapist in Casa Lunas, a non-government organisation (NGO) (www.casalunas.org) in Montevideo dedicated to the care of adolescent mothers in a precarious social position with their children and partners.

First, I would like to emphasise that maternity and adolescence have a unique subjective dimension and, at the same time, are social constructs, thus, the specificity of adolescent maternity relates to the socio-cultural determinants of each particular period, region, and social stratum.

 

Chapter Seven - Vicissitudes of the Desire to have a Child in Contemporary Parenthoods: Reproductive Techniques and the New Origins

ePub

Patricia Alkolombre

Introduction

The place of the desire to have a child is the guiding thread and point of departure of this chapter. It is a central issue in parenthood, especially when techniques of assisted fertilisation are used. It is linked, on the one hand, to parental desires and, on the other hand, to the child's identity in relation to knowledge of the child's origins.

These are current topics of interest, and, therefore, the participation of psychoanalysis in these debates is quite important. It is no less important that we enquire into what is permanent in comparison to what is changing in these scenarios, based on clinical observation.

The vicissitudes of the desire to have a child in contemporary parenthoods lead us to think about and explore their scope in psychoanalytic clinical work. Technology has introduced a new order in procreation, in the manner of an event (Badiou, 1988), leading, in turn, to new ways of filiation.

 

Chapter Eight - The Role of the Donor in Assisted Fertilisation Treatments

ePub

Silvia Jadur, Viviana Wainstein, and Constanza Duhalde

Assisted reproduction techniques are legitimised in the collective imagination, as well as legalised in the field of public policy in many geographies. However, some bio-technological advances, such as egg and sperm donation and surrogate pregnancies, are still controversial. Since the topic is extremely broad, we narrow it down by highlighting some issues. We then address the donor's role in parenthood and its link with the subjective process undergone by those with reproductive disorders who need egg and sperm donation in order to become pregnant.

Gamete donation enables an individual or a couple who cannot conceive from their own eggs or sperm to become pregnant when receiving the gamete of another person, therefore resigning their own genetic transmission. When there is ovarian failure, early menopause, the after-effects of surgery, and in some situations where women have postponed pregnancy until fertility decreases, egg donation constitutes an option in order to conceive a biological child.

 

Chapter Nine - Parenthood for Same-Sex Couples and Gender Definition in Children

ePub

Eva Rotenberg and Beatriz Agrest

“In scientific affairs there should be no place for recoiling from novelty. Science, in her perpetual incompleteness and insufficiency, is driven to hope for her salvation in new discoveries and new ways of regarding things…[Scepticism] may be sharply directed against what is new while it spares what is familiar and accepted, and it may be content to reject things before it has examined them”

(Freud, 1925e), p. 213)

Introduction

In the twenty-first century, the organisation of the family has changed significantly from what used to be considered a unique format: father, mother, and children. Nowadays, we come across different types of families, such as adoptive, extended, and foster families, single parents, unmarried couples, heterosexual couples, same-sex parents. In addition, there are yet other couples who originally belong to the same sex but, from the perspective of the imaginary, one of their members identifies with the opposite sex and carries out transformations, as in those cases where “the woman” is a transvestite or a transsexual, among other forms of family construction.

 

Chapter Ten - Are we Pregnant? Fantasies Displayed in the Embryo Transfer Process

ePub

María Alejandra Rey

Introduction

Are we pregnant? That was the question Sonia asked herself when they carried out the first embryo transfer.

Married to Miguel, ten years ago they decided to try to have their first child and it was then that they found out that she did not ovulate. Their doctor recommended that they follow a course of programmed intercourse (this technique consists of monitoring the development of ovulation to determine the optimum moment for the couple to have sexual relations and thus increase the probability of achieving pregnancy) and, at their first attempt, she became pregnant and Carolina—presently five years old—was born. Sometime later they decided to try and have a second child. They tried four times with programmed intercourse, were not able to conceive, and so passed on to the second stage of in vitro fertilisation.

When I first met Sonia for treatment, at the start of 2013, she had undergone three consecutive attempts to conceive and was exhausted from the experience. Towards the middle of the year, and encouraged by the possibility that her health insurance company would cover the costs of the treatment (a law had just been passed in Argentina to that effect: Law 26.862/2013. Integrated access to the procedures and medically assisted techniques of medically assisted reproduction), she decided to consult another team of professionals that had been recommended to her. She established a very good relationship with the new doctor and she felt much more support from him and from her husband, who participated more actively in the process this time. It was recommended to her that she should then consider embryo transfer.

 

Chapter Eleven - Two in One: Parenthood and Gender in a Case of Intersexuality

ePub

Teresa Rocha Leite Haudenschild

In this chapter, I consider the parents’ acceptance of the physical bisexuality or intersexuality of their baby, which is founded on the constitution of the psychical bisexuality of these parents. Cultural factors and scientific parameters may precipitate the designation of the baby's gender and complicate the construction of its psychical bisexuality, essential to personality development and the process of assuming a gender—a process always influenced by the designations of the parents, even if unconsciously. Psychic criteria may even surpass physical criteria, given that the aim is the harmonious psychical development of a human being, not solely in terms of sexuality. As such, even transgender options should be reconsidered from this perspective. What follows is the clinical case of Laura, aged fifty-two, who, despite having opted for the female gender, maintains her physical bisexuality.

The constitution of psychical bisexuality

 

Chapter Twelve - The Neuter Gender and the Setting up of Psychosexuality

ePub

Ana Maria Rocca Rivarola

The setting-up of psychosexuality can be seen as the way that a person integrates their body and genital perception, their erotic sexuality, their conscious and unconscious fantasies, their experiences and their identification with their first objects. All of this contributes towards building a feeling about themselves as a sole group of masculine and feminine elements that define the way in which each person will place him or herself in the world and relate with the others.

The development of the biological sexuality, from conception to puberty, occurs in a discontinuous and differentiated process where a series of transformations in different aspects (chromosomal, gonadal, hormonal, and genital) occurs. However, there are other change factors in the human being that overlap with biological development and which are in the origin of the setting up of the psychosexuality and which intervene favouring or hindering its evolution. Some of these factors are:

 

Chapter Thirteen - Countertransference in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy of Gender Identity Disorder Patients

ePub

Cláudio Laks Eizirik, Stefania Pigatto Teche, and Guilherme Kirsten Barbisan

In this chapter we discuss the definition and history of the concept of gender dysphoria currently described as gender identity disorder. The countertransference involved in the process of analytic psychotherapy and evaluation for the sex reassignment surgery is examined. The feelings aroused in this process must be acknowledged and worked on so they are not restricted merely to enactments and resistances. Clinical illustrations featuring relevant topics for the treatment of gender dysphoria patients in psychodynamic psychotherapy are discussed. The topic shows the sexual diversity increasingly found in psychotherapy and analysis.

Introduction

In conjunction with our contemporary culture, psychoanalysis has been challenged to understand the new family settings and a broad sexual diversity, as well as to handle new clinical situations and patients and families showing new psychopathologies and relationships. Among them, gender dysphoria has been extensively studied to understand biological, psychological, and behavioural mechanisms that explain this phenomenon. The area of sex and gender is highly controversial and has led to a proliferation of terms whose meanings vary over time and within and between disciplines, as we can see from the names given over the years by the different psychiatric diagnostic manuals such as the DSM and ICD to define dysphoria gender. An additional source of confusion is that in English, “sex” connotes both male and female and sexuality.

 

Chapter Fourteen - Neo-Sexualities and the Binary Model Debate

ePub

Susana Muszkat

A young married man takes his baby daughter to the paediatrician for the first time. The receptionist greets him, and, as she fills out the patient's form, she asks, “Are you the father of this baby?” “Yes”, he answers proudly, and she asks right away, “Name of the mother?” “She doesn't have a mother, she has two fathers”, he states firmly. He had been bracing himself for this question since he and his husband embarked on the project of having a child. A sense of embarrassment follows—the receptionist's and that of other people present. The scene is unconventional, and, hence, disconcerting. The receptionist has no personal, symbolic, or emotional record of it because it is new to her. So she answers, “Oh, how nice!” in an attempt to restore balance to her frame of reference.

When he recounts this situation (unprecedented both for him and for the other people there) to me, who has been working with him for several years and has witnessed how he takes care of his daughter—his “primary maternal preoccupation” (Winnicott, 1958), his connection with, and attention to, the needs of this baby, his tales of everyday family feelings, anxieties, fears—I answer with a question that prevails on me as absolutely essential: “But do you actually think that your daughter doesn't have a mother?”

 

Chapter Fifteen - The Liberation of Parenthood in the Twenty-First Century

ePub

Mariam Alizade

The new forms of parenthood represent a potential revolution with respect to original paradigms of the psychoanalytic discipline. We need to rethink ideas accepted more than a century ago in order to renew theories and praxis and, thereby, encompass new forms of parentality in the twenty-first century. Introduction of the notion of function, both paternal and maternal, emphasised that it is not necessarily a biological mother or father who acts as such by virtue of the simple fact of being registered as such in filiation records. Another person may take this role and exercise this function.

Psychohistory, in turn, took up the task of revealing the dark side of parenthood. As Lloyd deMause writes (1974, p. 15, translated for this edition),

The history of childhood is a nightmare from which we have begun to awaken quite recently. The farther we delve into the past, the lower the level of upbringing and the more exposed children are to violent death, abandonment, physical abuse, terror and sexual abuse.

 

Chapter Sixteen - Alcira Mariam Alizade

ePub

Graciela Cardó Soria

With sorrow and surprise, we learnt that, on 6 March 2013, Mariam Alizade went ahead of us on the journey. What follows is a tribute, intended as a work of mourning. Mariam participated in several congresses and other activities of the SPP. She was, and still is, a benchmark for many of us. The legacy that she left behind: her books, COWAP, and all the traces of her life, to some extent fill the vacuum left by her early passing. This chapter is a biographical sketch of her life and some of her major theoretical contributions. We will cover three central themes that run through her work: femininity (Feminine Sensuality), death (Clínica con la Muerte) and positivisation (Psychoanalysis and Positivity). The first one introduces fundamental concepts such as “women-only” space, “intrapsychic maternalisation”, and “non-maternal psychic space”. The second one enables us to think about our death, introduces different concepts of dying and living, and develops the concept of “tertiary narcissism”. The third one turns the positive dimension into a concept and introduces what Alizade termed the “psychic, that's it”.

 

Details

Print Book
E-Books
Chapters

Format name
ePub
Encrypted
No
Sku
BPE0000201744
Isbn
9781781817087
File size
525 KB
Printing
Allowed
Copying
Allowed
Read aloud
Allowed
Format name
ePub
Encrypted
No
Printing
Allowed
Copying
Allowed
Read aloud
Allowed
Sku
In metadata
Isbn
In metadata
File size
In metadata