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The Psychogenesis Of A Case Of Homosexuality In A Woman By Sigmund Freud

1945 words - 8 pages

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The Psychogenesis of a Case of Homosexuality in a Woman by Sigmund Freud

In "The Psychogenesis of a Case of Homosexuality in a Woman", Freud discusses a case of a young woman brought to him by her parents for treatment as a homosexual. Although he states that Psychoanalysis is not truly a tool for curing homosexuality, but one to help those with inner conflict in one particular area or another, he attempts to study the girl to see if Psychoanalysis could be of any help to her. Once he realized that the girl had a deep rooted bitterness towards men, he called off his study of her and told her parents that if they were to seek more psychoanalysis for her it should be sought from a woman. Prior to this discovery he found a few things of interest that may have attributed to her choice of sexual object.
One of the first things Freud thought about was whether the patient was a homosexual from birth or whether she changed her object choice later in life. At the time it was thought that homosexuals had characteristics (physical a psychical) of the opposite sex. Though there were a few of these found in the girl, they were not strong enough to count for much. She was tall like her father and her features were sharper rather than soft and feminine, but she was still a beautiful and well developed girl. As far as psychical characteristics that were more masculine, he listed sharp comprehension, and objectivity in that her passion did not have complete control over her. Still there were women at the time who had traits such as these and were not homosexual.
The characteristic the girl displayed that was the most manly, however, was the way she acted and thought in regards to the Lady she was in love with. The girl preferred to think of herself as the lover, not the beloved. Simply being allowed to accompany the lady and to kiss her on the hand when they parted made her happy. She loved hearing the lady get complemented on her beauty, but didn't care at all when she herself was complimented in that way. Freud compared her actions to those of "the first passionate adoration of a youth for a celebrated actress whom he regards as far above him"(23).
All this aside, Freud decides that this particular patient was not a homosexual at birth, but was rather a "case… of late acquired inversion"(28). In fact towards the end of the study his findings seem to imply that she may not in fact be a homosexual by nature, but as a matter of manipulation of those around her. She went through the normal Oediple stages as a child, and later replaced her father with one of her slightly older brothers. When she was about five years old she and her brother compared genitalia and it had long lasting impressions on her. A short time later her mother gave birth to another boy, and this birth seemed to have little or no effect on her. During puberty she learned the basics of sex in school and it left her both feeling fascinated and...

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