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Confusion on tongues: On the Question of the Origin and Character of Infantile Sexuality

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What is the origin and character of infantile sexuality? At the time of its announcement, Freud's theory of infantile sexuality was a scandal. Not only did it shock by its claim that the small child sucking at the mother's breast experiences a kind of pleasure that Freud without hesitation named sexual. The theory also turned the common understanding of human sexuality upside-down by lifting the definition of sexuality out of a limited biological frame of understanding and placing it on the boundary between the somatic and the psychical. However, Freud's epoch-making discovery has not been followed by theories that have the infant's development as their object. The concept of attachment and the empirical research tradition has created a new focus for the studies of the infant that seems to block our vision of the sexual. Following a short historical outline from Balint's concept of primary love to Bowlby's concept of attachment we examine the theories that, inspired by Laplanche, once more have taken up the discussion of infantile sexuality. In the light of these discussions and through clinical examples we argue that the concept of infantile sexuality could be clarified by combining the concept of the drive with an intersubjective point of view.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftEuropean Psychoanalytical Federation
Vol/bind64
Udgave nummer64
Sider (fra-til)67-79
StatusUdgivet - 2010

ID: 16887882