Psychoanalysis and sexuality

Authored by: Muriel Dimen

The Routledge Handbook of Psychoanalysis in the Social Sciences and Humanities

Print publication date:  April  2016
Online publication date:  April  2016

Print ISBN: 9780415626927
eBook ISBN: 9781315650821
Adobe ISBN: 9781317308201


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Psychoanalysis is witnessing a return to sex. There at the start, sexuality slipped backstage along with drive theory, as object relations, attachment theory and psychoanalytic gender theory made their way forward. Its contemporary positioning needs to be seen in that context, in relation to psychoanalysis as a whole. Psychosexual theory is imbricated with all the changes psychoanalysis has undergone since its beginnings: the shifts in theory of motivation (from drive theory to attachment theory), model of development (from Oedipal to pre-Oedipal dynamics), structure of mind (from the second topology to the ego and the self) and mode of treatment (from the classical one-person and objectivist to the postclassical, intersubjective and relational). Each of these changes inflects how sexuality is understood, addressed and experienced in clinical psychoanalysis.

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