Dialogues on Sexuality, Gender and Psychoanalysis by Irene Matthis

By Irene Matthis

A not easy exploration of latest theories on femininity with state of the art papers from best analysts, this quantity provides a thought-provoking discussion on femininity, sexuality, gender and masculinity. those key concerns are analyzed and mentioned in new and stimulating methods, while generic thoughts are dissected and dismantled to convey ahead clean principles. the range and advancements at present advancing reviews on femininity in the direction of new understandings are proven in actual fact throughout.This wealthy and encouraging choice of papers grew from the “Sexuality and Gender” convention held in Sweden in 2002, equipped by way of the Committee on ladies and Psychoanalysis. The convention used to be created with the wide awake purpose of bringing diversified rules to undergo upon one another with a view to advertise additional study into this important region. The fascinatingly different interpretations that the convention generated ended in the will to post those papers for a much wider viewers. The contributions hence were transformed to supply a readable and compelling communique of other viewpoints with reference to femininity.Contributors: Jessice Benjamin, Colette Chiland, Nancy J. Chodorow, Gisela Kaplan, Julia Kristeva, Irene Matthis, Joyce McDougall, Juliet Mitchell, Toril Moi, Paul Verhaeghe, Ebba Witt-Brattstrom.

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I would like to add at this point that in many long years of supervision with candidates and also with quite experienced analysts, I have been struck by the fact that the majority of male analysts seem to avoid—or appear highly hesitant about—asking a female patient any questions concerning her menstrual cycle, perhaps because of a feeling that such interest may be received by the analysand as intrusive. 32 JOYCE M C DOUGALL As Helene Deutsch pointed out long ago: puberty and menopause both encircle the present—one looking ahead, the other looking backwards (Deutsch, 1944).

In this context, Kaplan adds that we have to be aware of the fact that we are not only responding to stimuli from the surrounding world, but actually altering it in the process—according to how we assess ourselves. She goes on to exemplify her suggestion. DIALOGUES ON SEXUALITY AND GENDER 19 She believes that this has a bearing on Benjamin’s exposition of the concept of desire. Tension has to be held and contained in order for desire to be owned—this is Benjamin’s argument. Kaplan calls on Michel Foucault when she reminds us that sexuality does not exist beyond power relations.

In this way she dreams of fulfilling in her mother’s life the important erotic and narcissistic role of the father in relation to her mother. It is obvious that, through lack of fulfilment, these drives tend to become associated with narcissistic injury. It is perhaps this additional factor that gave Freud the impression that penis envy was the predominant dimension in the psychosexual structure of woman. Although the universal bisexual wishes of infancy are equally strong in both sexes, the girl’s problem is more intricate than her brother’s in that the girl-child and her mother are not sexually complementary.

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