Medium 9780946439140

Female Sexuality

Views: 702
Ratings: (0)

Female Sexuality represents a distinct contribution to the psychoanalytic study of feminine psychology and sexual identity. First published in France as Recherches psychanalytiques nouvelles sur la sexualite feminine, the book consists of six major essays and a comprehensive introduction which reviews the various approaches to the subject. Freudian and non-Freudian views on female sexuality are carefully examined, thus providing a valuable perspective from which to view the authors' subsequent discussions."The present authors," writes Dr J. Chasseguet-Smirgel in her introduction, "have attempted as far as possible to free their theoretical ideas and their clinical interpretations from the unconscious fantasies which distort scientific objectivity."Christian David thus uses a clinical history to study masculine myths about femininity; Catherine Luquet-Parat attributes an important role to female masochism in the young girl's "change of object"; Bela Grunberger examines the origins of female narcissism; Joyce McDougall shows that female homosexuality must be integrated to achieve a harmonious feminine nature; and Maria Torok gives masculinity wishes and penis-envy a new role and meaning.In the last essay in this significant work, Janine Chasseguet-Smirgel - a training analyst of the French Psychoanalytic Association - describes the young girl's relationship with her father and discusses the aspects of this relationship which contribute an important dimension to female guilt.Female Sexuality: New Psychoanalytic Views helps fill a long-apparent need for authorative analyses in this area of growing interest.Contributors: Janine Chasseguet-Smirgel, Catherine Luquet-Parat, Bela Grunberger, Joyce McDougall, Maria Torok, and Christian David

List price: $32.99

Your Price: $26.39

You Save: 20%

Remix
Remove
 

6 Slices

Format Buy Remix

A Masculine Mythology of Femininity.

ePub

Christian David

ô surprise fatale!

La Femme au corps divin, promettant le bonheur,

Par le haut se termine en monstre bicéphalel

—BAUDELAIRE

Thanks to Freud’s discovery of infantile sexuality and the continuity between the normal and the pathological, it has become possible to derive a concrete and rigorous psychological study of sexuality from individual prehistory.

Has sexuality freed itself from this prehistory, preserved as it is by universal repression, secular prejudices, and the irreducible distortions of fantasy? I do not think so, and the hesitations, the disagreements, and the contradictions even within the most authentically psychoanalytic thought provide the evidence.

Perhaps the particular problems which female sexuality presents us will emphasize these residual difficulties. The reader may already have realized this from the general introduction to this book. One can even say, without being paradoxical, that many analytical conceptions of femininity are themselves the stronghold of fantasies and the last refuge of prejudices. Is it the same in treatment? To a lesser degree, yes: there is general agreement that ideological differences subside in clinical practice, yet one cannot deny the influence of a priori assumptions, nor the unfortunate consequences they have at times. There are few domains in which failure due to counter transference is so difficult to acknowledge or its repercussions so difficult to prevent.

 

Outline for a Study of Narcissism in Female Sexuality.

ePub

Béla Grunberger

The study of female sexuality is a relatively neglected area in psychoanalysis. This discipline centers on the Oedipus complex, “the nodal complex of neurosis,” and its method is the study of normality by means of the pathological. The Oedipus complex applies to both sexes, but Freud was constantly in difficulties over establishing a symmetry here for both men and women. In 1931 Freud wondered whether “what we know of the Oedipus complex is only valid in the boy’s development, and not in the girl’s,” an expression of the insecurity he felt in the face of the problem of femininity, which shows up in everything he has written on the subject. He never fails to stress the tentative nature of his subject and refers both to the unsatisfactory results and to the task that research has still to complete.1 Freud’s uncertainties about the problem of femininity were aggravated by his wish to reconcile his revolutionary studies with the scientific orientation peculiar to his time.

Freud claimed that the mother is the first sexual object for both the boy and the girl because their first sexual sensations occur during feeding and bathing, activities which stimulate the erogenous zones. This is perfectly true, but it is unlikely (we shall return to this point later) that the quality of these sensations is identical for the two sexes, even though the agent bringing them about is the same. Indeed, all of Freud’s difficulties over Oedipal theory arise from this purely hypothetical symmetry. One could also wonder whether the mother’s ministrations themselves might not be the source of such sensations. We might reverse the statement and assume that there is already a potential sexuality—different, from the beginning, for boys and girls—which the mother merely activates.2

 

The Change of Object. C. Luquet-Parat

ePub

Catherine Luquet-Parat

The change of object is a crucial step in woman’s development. It is the move in which the little girl decathects her mother as the object of love in order to cathect her father. But this definition is inadequate as it ignores many changes which occur simultaneously in the cathexis of the love object, or erogenous zones, and in the structure of the entire ego. Probably, in view of this complexity Freud spoke of a “triple change” during the little girl’s Oedipus complex: change of the love object, change of the leading erogenous zone (the erotic cathexis of the clitoris yielding to that of the vagina), and change from a position of activity to one of passivity toward the love object.

In fact, if one compares the situation at the end of the pre-Oedipal period to that at the passing of the Oedipus complex, one notices that this passage through the Oedipal period did end with such a triple change. I consider it most pertinent that attitudes and emotions of the female related to the penis have also been changed considerably. It is as though there were at the time certain transformations which while undoing and eliminating the old attitudes substantiate the claim for the penis. We shall come back to this point later.

 

Feminine Guilt and the Oedipus Complex.

ePub

Janine Chasseguet-Smirgel

“This is in disagreement with Freud’s formidable statement that the concept of the Oedipus complex is strictly applicable only to male children and ‘it is only in male children that there occurs the fateful conjunction of love for the one parent and hatred of the other as rival.’ 1 We seem compelled here to be plus toy alts te que le toy. … I can find no reason to doubt that for girls, no less than for boys, the Oedipus situation in its reality and phantasy is the most fateful psychical event in life.”

—Jones (“The Phallic Phase,” 1932)

It is troubling to note that Freudian theory gives the father a central role in the boy’s Oedipus complex but considerably reduces that role in the girl’s. In fact, in considering Freud’s article “Female Sexuality” (to which Jones replies in his article “The Phallic Phase”) it is suggested that the ghTs positive Oedipus complex may simply not exist. If it exists, it is usually an exact replica of her relationship to her mother. Freud says in the same article, “except for the change of her love object, the second phase had scarcely added any new feature to her erotic life” (this second phase being the positive Oedipus complex).

 

The Significance of Penis Envy in Women.

ePub

Maria Torok

In every woman’s analysis, there is inevitably a period in which appears a feeling of envy and covetousness for both the male sex organ and its symbolic equivalents. This penis envy may be simply episodic with some patients, but with others it can be central. The exacerbated desire to possess what women believe themselves deprived of by fate, or the mother, is an expression of a fundamental dissatisfaction which some people believe to be woman’s lot. Indeed, the conviction that what they feel themselves deprived of is exactly what other people have is common to patients of both sexes and is found in all analyses. Jealousy and demand, spite and despair, inhibition and anxiety, admiration and idealization, inner void and depression: all these are among the varied symptoms of this state of deficiency. Yet it is interesting that only women relate this feeling of deficiency to the very nature of their sex: “It is because I am a woman.” One must understand such a statement to mean: I do not have a penis, that accounts for my weakness, my inertia, my lack of intelligence, my dependent state or even my illnesses.

 

Homosexuality in Women.

ePub

Joyce McDougall

Bisexuality! I am sure you are right about it. I am accustoming myself to regarding every sexual act as an event between four individuals.

Freud to Fliess, 1889

Clinical studies of overt homosexuality are rendered difficult by the fact that only when the delicate balance achieved by manifest homosexuality is threatened or lost will homosexuals of either sex turn to a psychiatrist or analyst for help. I have been fortunate enough to have had in analysis four homosexual women and three others who, while not exclusively homosexual, were dominated by conscious homosexual wishes. My thanks are due to these cases for the clinical material which furnished the basis for this paper. These patients enabled me to recognize a specific form of Oedipal constellation and to appreciate the significance of overt homosexuality in maintaining psychic equilibrium and ego identity in spite of the evident disturbance in sexual identity.

Before studying the clinical findings for the light they may shed on the psychic structure and its instinctual economy, it is important to delimit our area of research from a theoretical and a clinical point of view. First, psychoanalytic theory considers the homosexual component of the libido to be an integral part of every human being’s psychic structure, so it is well to define what we mean by “homosexual libido” and to ask in what manner this component is cathected and integrated into the adult personality in people who are not homosexual. Second, since clinical categories notoriously overlap (particularly with regard to homosexual elements where there is constant reference to conscious, unconscious, and latent homosexual aspects in the classical neurotic and psychotic structures), it is necessary to differentiate between commonly disguised expressions of homosexuality and its overt expression in sexual relations. Where do “normal-neurotic” and “psychotic” leave off and where does “perverse” begin? Does the term “latent homosexual” really mean anything? What place do we accord homosexual and perverse fantasy in daydreams and masturbation? What relationship might be found to exist between the overt homosexual woman and the “masculine woman” who feels at home among men and abhors the company of other women?

 

Details

Print Book
E-Books
Slices

Format name
ePub
Encrypted
No
Sku
B000000020841
Isbn
9781781810323
File size
477 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