Freud essays sexuality summary

The excerpt read like this: Contact between the child and its carer is, for the child, an endlessly flowing source of sexual stimulation and satisfaction of erogenous zones, particularly since the carer—more generally the mother—bestows upon the child feelings derived from her sexual life, stroking, kissing and rocking the child, and quite clearly taking it as substitute for fully valid sexual object. Every time you look at mothers breastfeeding her baby you will think of everything but motherly or pure love.

Freud essays sexuality summary

In general, most psychoanalysts would agree. The immediate influence of the Three Essays was profound, and fostered change in the way that people thought, behaved, and learned about sexuality; this influence abides today.

Published soon after the turn of the twentieth century, the book's somewhat scandalous profile heightened its impact. Its contentious reputation was not due, in all likelihood, to the first of Freud's three essays, which concerned perversions.

Havelock Ellis had discussed sexual aberrations and Freud cited and praised his work; Richard von Krafft-Ebing and others had strived diligently to create a literature concerned with sexual deviations. The medical context of these publications justified their sexual content, and they were received with approbation.

Nor did the last of the Three Essays, on "The Transformations of Puberty" seem to provoke much controversy at a time when personal needs, desires, and social practices only underscored the omnipresence of sexuality.

Rather, the controversy and enthusiasm that greeted Freud's brief volume was primarily due to the second essay, in which he discussed sexuality in infancy and childhood.

From a present-day perspective, it is difficult to imagine the vehement reactions provoked by suggesting the existence of infantile sexuality. Indeed, sexuality in infancy and childhood is the central theme of the book. Freud's discussion of adult sexual aberrations links them to unexpected or abnormal events during childhood.

He similarly understands puberty as the sum of modifications acting upon infantile sexuality. These ideas were clearly spelled out in the first edition of the Three Essays in The first essay Freud essays sexuality summary "The Sexual Aberrations.

He acknowledged that such factors may be at the root of the perversions in some cases, but to those must be added the decisive participation of accidental causes—that is, childhood events that affected sexuality. Such events comprise the only available material for psychoanalytic work. In effect, the etiology of neurosis that Freud had previously proposed, as early as with reference to hysteria, was here reasserted and further developed.

Starting from two basic concepts, instinct and object, Freud stated that "it seems probable that the sexual instinct is in the first instance independent of its object" p. He stressed that one must distinguish between types of perversion, according to whether the sexual anomaly is related to the object as with homosexuality or zoophilia or to the aim, that is, to the activities that lead to sexual gratification.

Freud discussed homosexuality in this general theoretical context—that is, how, from a developmental standpoint, a person would make either a homosexual or heterosexual object choice, the latter representing as much of a problem as the former.

Freud essays sexuality summary

Either path might be taken in consequence of the anatomo-physiologic and psychic bisexuality that characterizes every human being, a hypothesis that Freud explicitly attributed to Wilhelm Fliess. Freud sustained his argument with the concept of component instincts —several independent impulses, each related to an erotogenic zone or somatic source without being integrated with each other.

Freud essays sexuality summary

One can thus better understand why numerous perversions are characterized by sexual behavior that preferentially involves the oral, and especially the anal, erotogenic zones—they are, that is to say, the result of psychic functions controlled by component instincts.

Component instincts and normal gratifications of childhood would be further discussed in the second essay.

Whereas neurotics repress the desire for instinctual gratification, the anomaly of perversion in adults resides in the fact that their sexual practices are permanently and predominantly based on satisfying component instincts. From this reasoning emerged Freud's concept that "neuroses are, so to say, the negative of perversions " p.

Ideas developed in the first essay led logically to the second, which focused on sexuality in infancy and childhood. Freud pointed to the lack of knowledge on this subject while noting, at the same time, that it would be sufficient to carefully observe young children without hastening to declare sexual manifestations as abnormal.

Every adult was once a child and should in principle be able to recall childhood in more than a fragmentary way, but most do not. Freud added two important observations.

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First, infantile amnesia affects everything concerning sexuality in childhood. Second, the strong moral condemnation that impacts all manifestations of sexuality leads to repression or gratification through sublimation. Freud went on to advance a highly audacious and fertile idea that would lead to many further developments in psychoanalysis, both theoretical and clinical, and which would influence both his own later thought and that of his successors.

He stated, in effect, that sucking activity observed in the infant should be considered as the prototype for all future sexual gratification. Thumb-sucking or "sensual sucking" "consists in the rhythmic repetition of a sucking contact by the mouth or lips.

There is no question of the purpose of this procedure being the taking of nourishment" pp. Thumb-sucking has no other aim but pleasure and is separate from, but attached to or initially dependent upon, the need for nourishment. Herewith emerges implicitly the notion of anaclisis, which would later play a major role in developmental theory.Freud then gives a quick summary of all that he has said.

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He began with the problem of the roles played by innate disposition and experiences in life in producing normal or aberrations in sexual lives of adults.

The aberrations themselves can be covered between perversion and its negative: neurosis. Sep 10,  · Sigmund Freud began developing the theory of sexuality outlined in his Three Essays during the s and s while working with patients, mostly women, suffering from "hysteria." Hysteria was a widespread psychological diagnosis in the late nineteenth century, and widespread in part because it was defined so variously and so loosely; its symptoms ranged from mildly irregular moods .

Freud was deeply disappointed by its lackluster reception, but he continued writing. His The Psychopathology of Everyday Life was published in , and his Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality was published in Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality is a work by Sigmund Freud which advanced his theory of sexuality, in particular its relation to childhood.

Freud considered these essays to . Sigmund Freud's "Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality", written in , attempted to trace the course of the development of the sexual instinct in human beings from infancy to maturity. The basis of Freud’s theory was the conscious mind, the preconscious mind, and the unconscious mind.

His study had much to do with many aspects of the conscious and unconscious states; however, the major divisions included the conscious, preconscious, and the unconscious.

Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality - Wikipedia