Changing Sexualities and Parental Functions in the Twenty-First Century

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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.

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