Introduction to Female Sexuality – The early psychoanalytic controversies : 1999 : Russell Grigg, Dominique Hecq & Craig Smith

by Julia Evans on January 1, 1999

Published by Karnac Books 1999

NOTE : Introduction on p7 is now available from www.LacanianWorksExchange.net /authors a-z or authors by date.

Book’s contents

Index

Preface  pi

Acknowledgments pii

Notes on the Editors piii

Biographical Notes p1

Introduction p7 – * available from www.LacanianWorksExchange.net /authors a-z or authors by date.

1 Contributions to the Masculinity Complex in Women, J. H, W. Van Ophuijsen p19

2 The Castration Complex, August Stârckc p30

3 Manifestations of the Female Castration Complex, Karl Abraham p51 : See Manifestations of the Female Castration Complex : 1920 : Karl Abrahams or here

4 Origins and Growth of Object Love, Karl Abraham p76 : Part II of Manifestations of the Female Castration Complex : 1920 : Karl Abrahams or here

5 The Psychology of Women in Relation to the Functions of Reproduction, Helene Deutsch p93 : The Psychology of Women in Relation to the Functions of Reproduction : April 1924 [1925] (Salzburg) : Helene Deutsch  or here    

6 The Flight from Womanhood : The Masculinity Complex in Women, as Viewed by Men and Women, Karen Horney p107: See The Flight from Womanhood: The Masculinity-Complex in Women, as Viewed by Men and by Women : 1926 : Karen Horney or here

7 A Contribution to the Problem of Libidinal Development of the Genital Phase in Girls, Josine MüIIer  p122

8 The Genesis of the Feminine Super-Ego, Carl Milller-Braunschweig  p129

9 The Early Development of Female Sexuality, Ernest Jones p133 : See The early development of female sexuality : 1st September 1927 (Innsbruck) : Ernest Jones or here

10 Early Stages of the Oedipus Conflict, Melanie Klein 
p146 : Early Stages of the Œdipus conflict : 3rd September 1927 Innsbruck [1928] : Melanie Klein or here

11 The Evolution of the Oedipus Complex in Women, Jeanne Lampl de Groot  p159

12 Womanliness as a Masquerade, Joan Rivière  p172 : See Womanliness as a masquerade : 1929 : Joan Rivière  or here

13  The Significance of Masochism in the Mental Life of Women, Helene Deutsch  p183 : The Significance of Masochism in Mental Life of Women : 27th July 1929 Oxford [1930] : Helene Deutsch or here

14 The Pregenital Antecedents of the Oedipus Complex, Otto Fenichel  p195

15 On Female Homosexuality, Helene Deutsch  p220

16 The Dread of Woman : Observations on a Specific Difference in the Dread Felt by Men and Women Respectively for the Opposite Sex, Karen Horney  p241 : See The Dread of Women: Observations on a Specific Difference in the Dread felt by Men and Women Respectively for the Opposite Sex : 1932 : Karen Horney  or here   

17  The Denial of the Vagina : a Contribution to the Problem of the Genital Anxieties Specific to Women, Karen Horney  p253

18  Passivity, Masochism and Femininity, Marie Bonaparte p266

19  Early Female Sexuality, Ernest Jones p275 : See Early Female Sexuality : 24th April 1935 : Ernest Jones or here

Bibliography p286

Index  p293

References for the Introduction

Related text : Commentaries & Information from ‘Jacques Lacan & the École Freudienne: Feminine Sexuality’ : 1982 : Juliet Mitchell and Jacqueline Rose : See here

1. ‘Throughout history people have knocked their heads against the riddle of the nature of femininity’ : Sigmund Freud, ‘Femininity’, in New Introductory lectures on Psycho-Analysis (1933a), SE XXII : 113: Lecture XXXIII : ‘Femininity’: 1932 (published 1933) : Published www.Freud2Lacan.com , download here

2. ‘In 1905, Freud ascribed the ‘impenetrable obscurity’ surrounding female sexuality partly to the ‘stunting effect of civilised conditions’ and partly to the ‘conventional secretiveness and insincerity’ of women. :  ‘Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality’ (1905d), SE VII : p151.
 Published at www.Freud2Lacan.com see here

3. ‘Some three years later in 1908 he made a similar, though less specific, comment, where this obscurity is said to be due to ‘unfavourable circumstances both of an external and internal nature’. : On the Sexual Theories of Children : 1908c : SE IX : p211 : Published at www.Freud2Lacan.com , see here

4. However, much later, when the explanation given for why the sexual life of women is “a dark continent” for psychology’ is that the ‘nature of femininity’ is itself a riddle, Freud adopts a new caution regarding the applicability of the Oedipal model to the little girl. : Femininity op.cit  Published www.Freud2Lacan.com , download here : SE XXII p116 : And now you are already prepared to hear the psychology too is unable to solve the riddle of femininity. NOTE : in ‘The Question of Lay Analysis (1926e), Freud wrote, We know less about the sexual life of adult women and it is a ‘dark continent’ for psychology. SE XX P212

5. In point of fact, what Freud says appears contradictory : even as he refers to the primacy of the phallus for both sexes, he warns that ‘we can describe this state of things only as it affects the male child; the corresponding processes in the little girl are not known to us’. : ‘The Infantile Genital Organization’ (1923e), SE XIX : p142. In addition to this paper, see ‘The Dissolution of the Oedipus Complex’ (1924d) Published at www.Freud2Lacan.com see here and ‘Some Psychical Consequences of the Anatomical Distinction Between the Sexes’ (1925j) SE XIX : p245

Page 7. Almost none of Freud’s initial discoveries can be dissociated from his early work with women patients – recall the women of, Studies on Hysteria, the case history of Dora. : See Sigmund Freud & Josef Breuer,: Studies on Hysteria: 1893-1895, SE II : Published at www.Freud2Lacan.com & available here with notes on the case studies & Sigmund Freud : Fragment of an analysis of a case of hysteria (‘Dora’): 1901 [1905], SE VII p7-114, Published at www.Freud2Lacan.com or here

6. Editor’s note to ‘Psychical Consequences’, 1925j, SE XIX : p245

7. Femininity SE XXII p252 : Published www.Freud2Lacan.com , download here

8. ‘psychoanalysis does not try to describe what a woman is, but sets about inquiring how she comes into being’, New Introductory Lectures : SE XXII p116 to be found, but probably Femininity : Found! Lecture XXXIII on Femininity, SE XXII p.116 Published www.Freud2Lacan.com , download here

9. p9 : ‘Two crucial texts on the question of femininity, both revolving around the castration complex in girls, appear in the early thirties, ‘Female Sexuality’ ( Published at www.Freud2Lacan.net download here)   and the lecture on ‘Femininity’ in New Introductory Lectures (Published www.Freud2Lacan.com , download here), whose material is briefly revisited five years later in ‘Analysis Terminable and lnterminable’ (Published at www.Freud2Lacan.com download  here) and also in Chapter7 of the posthumous ‘Outline of Psychoanalysis’ (1938).

While some of the papers included in this collection (book for which this is the Introduction) predate Freud’s papers, ‘The Infantile Genital Organisation’ (1923) and ‘The Dissolution of the Oedipus Complex’ (1924), published at www.Freud2Lacan.com see here the controversy was really triggered by these two important contributions. As a consequence of their publication the debate takes on a life of its own in the late 1920s.

It is a dispute that soon takes on the proportions of a controversy involving psychoanalytic circles from Vienna to London, via Berlin, The Hague and Paris. The controversy is usually referred to as the ‘Freud-Jones debate’. However, at least one recent re-examination of the terms of the disagreement rejects this. [Ref 9] And indeed, when one reads the articles collected here it becomes obvious that the real dispute, though it remains unacknowledged throughout, is between Freud and Abraham, with one of Abraham’s clinical papers being central to the controversy.

Reference 9 : See for instance Juliet Mitchell & Jacqueline Rose, ‘Feminine Sexuality : Jacques Lacan and the École Freudienne’ (Macmillan : London, 1982), p8 & 15-16 in particular where Juliet Mitchell briefly explains why ‘Karl Abraham’s work is crucial’. For a more radical revision of the dynamics of the debate, see Marie-Christine Hamon, ‘Pourquoi les femmes aiment-elles les hommes?’ (Seuil : Paris, 1992) : See Commentaries & Information from ‘Jacques Lacan & the École Freudienne: Feminine Sexuality’ : 1982 : Juliet Mitchell and Jacqueline Rose or here & Introduction – I to ‘Jacques Lacan & the École Freudienne: Feminine Sexuality’: 1982 : Juliet Mitchell or here

10 : See Part II, Origins and growth of Object-Love’ of A Short Study of the Development of the Libido, Viewed in the Light of Mental Disorders : 1924 : Karl Abraham or here    http://www.lacanianworks.net/?p=11974]

13 : Femininity, SE XIX : p129 : Published www.Freud2Lacan.com , download here  

14 : ‘On the Sexual Theories of Children’ (1908c), SE IX (Published at www.Freud2Lacan.com , see here)  : p205-226, links the alleged universal possession of a penis in children (p215) with the proposed theory of the little girl’s disappointment at not having it (p218)

page 11 ; Thus the original formulation of the Oedipus Complex as the desire for the parent of the opposite sex, coupled with the hatred for the parent of the same sex, is insufficient by itself to account for the difference between the sexes ; moreover, as the case of Dora demonstrates only too well, this original formulation is also,  an impediment to the advance of Freud’s clinical work. : See Sigmund Freud : Fragment of an analysis of a case of hysteria (‘Dora’): 1901 [1905], SE VII p7-114, Published at www.Freud2Lacan.com or here

15 A special type of choice of object made by men : 1910 : SE XI p165-75

16 The Infantile Genital Organization ‘ (1923e), SE XIX p141

17 Psychical consequences, SE XIX p256 (1925j)  SE XIX p241-258.  Worth noting is that the question underlying this statement is? ‘Why does the little girl change love objects?’

18, page 11, Her mother has become an object of her jealousy. The girl has turned into a little woman. : Footnote 18  Identification, though a key concept, is an elusive one. There is, obviously a conceptual difficulty in dealing with the preoedipal mother. This probably makes sense as whether a construct or a fact, motherhood is part of the whole phallic economy. Here lies the conceptual difficulty with the preoedipal, rather than oedipal mother. (Contrast with Freud’s essay on Leonardo da Vinci.) Leonardo da Vinci and a memory of his childhood (1910) SE XI

19 Quote p11, More relevant to an understanding of the nature of femininity, however is what Freud makes clear in ‘The Dissolution of the Oedipus Complex,’ (Published at www.Freud2Lacan.com see here) namely, that the little girl can respond in three ways to castration, and thus that the Oedipus complex has three possible outcomes for women: the masculinity complex, hysteria, or a normality – which, by the way, still needs defining in 1932 : Footnote 19  : A point somewhat refined in 1933, though Freud admits then : ‘We have learned a fair amount, though not everything, about all three.’  (‘Femininity’, p129) Lecture XXXIII: ‘Femininity’: 1932 (published 1933), SE XXII, Published www.Freud2Lacan.com , download here

20 Psychical Consequences SE XIX p251 : Some Psychical Consequences of the Anatomical Distinction between the Sexes (1925j), SE XIX p241-258.

21 page 12 : l923 to 1925(witness the preceding quotation, which was written in 1925),they focus on the entry into the Oedipus complex and thus emphasize the pre- oedipal relationship of the little girl to her mother: ‘With the small girl it is different. Her first object, too, was her mother. How does she find her way to her father? How, when and why did she detach herself from her mother? Footnote 21 : Female Sexuality SE XXI p225 (1931b) : Published at www.Freud2Lacan.net download here

22 page 12 : This question leads to others: ‘What does the little girl require of her mother? What is the nature of her sexual aims during the time of exclusive attachment to her mother? Female Sexuality (1931b) SE XXI p235 1931b : Published at www.Freud2Lacan.net download here

24 page 13 : This question of the substitution of objects is precisely one of the key questions Abraham tackles in the article mentioned above.  : see Manifestations of the Female Castration Complex : 1920 : Karl Abrahams or here

26 page 14 : Letter to Carl Müller-Braunschweig : 1935 : Sigmund Freud, published as ‘Freud and female sexuality: a previously unpublished letter’, Psychiatry, 34 (1971) : p328-9

27 page 15 : And yet, here there is also a turning point in Freud’s work: emphasis is placed increasingly upon the mother-child dyad. It is, moreover, at this point that Freud reformulates the question of the substitution of objects in oedipal terms: ‘how’ rather than ‘why’ the little girl changes love objects. Footnote 27,  See the passage quoted within the text (Footnote 20) from ‘Psychical consequences’ (1925j), SE XIX p251

28 Juliet Mitchell, Female Sexuality, 20 : : See Commentaries & Information from ‘Jacques Lacan & the École Freudienne: Feminine Sexuality’ : 1982 : Juliet Mitchell and Jacqueline Rose or here & Introduction – I to ‘Jacques Lacan & the École Freudienne: Feminine Sexuality’: 1982 : Juliet Mitchell or here

30 Juliet Mitchell, Female Sexuality, 23 : : See Commentaries & Information from ‘Jacques Lacan & the École Freudienne: Feminine Sexuality’ : 1982 : Juliet Mitchell and Jacqueline Rose or here  & Introduction – I to ‘Jacques Lacan & the École Freudienne: Feminine Sexuality’: 1982 : Juliet Mitchell or here

31 See letters to Fliess of 14.9.1897, 30.9.1897 and 3.10.1897, in Letters to Fliess, 26l, 270 and 325.

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Julia Evans

Practicing Lacanian Psychoanalyst, London

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