Freud - The Sexual Life of Human Beings.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
University College Courses
Scott Rayter

- Freud characterizes the sexual as “the indecent” - He says first that sex is everything connected with the difference between the sexes, but dismisses this as too general - Then he says that sex is anything that obtains “sensual excitement from the body and especially from the sexual organs of the opposite sex, and which aims toward the union of the genitals and the performance of the sexual act” - The sexual is a blanket term that includes the difference (contrast) between men and women, sexual excitement and how people attain it, and reproduction - The sexual is characterized by an indecency, so it must be hidden - Homosexuals = the perverse, also called inverted - Homosexuals considered themselves a “third sex” rather than considering themselves men and women who were attracted to other men and women - There are two different types of sexual abnormalities – those whose sexual object has changed (ie homosexuals) and those whose sexual aim has changed - Some people see what is usually considered the beginning of the sexual performance (ex. masochists, sadists, exhibitionists) as the end of it - Indecency is characteristic of these acts, but is magnified greatly - Freud believed that neurosis was a substitute for sexual satisfaction - Neurotics all have homosexual tendencies - The number of latent homosexuals is much greater than the homosexuals who declare themselves as such - In hysteric symptoms, different organs behave as substitute genitals - The organs of the body have a sexual significance and the performance of their function is disturbed if the sexual factor claims too much attention - Sensations that are common to hysteria in organs that are not concerned with sexuality have had sex instincts transferred to those organs from other organs - Perverse sexual tendencies in hysterics occur in the unconscious - Compulsive neuroses serve as a rejection of sadistic desires, or express a struggle between satisfaction and rejection of these desires - Other forms of neurosis, characterized by intensive worry, are the expression of exaggerated sexualisation of acts that are ordinarily only preparatory to sexual satisfactions, ex the desire to touch - This explains the fear of physical contact and the compulsion to wash - Many acts of compulsion, particularly repetition and modification, can be traced back to masturbation - Neuroses can develop from denial of normal sexual satisfaction - The need is then forced into the abnormal paths of sex excitement - The perverse tendencies then become more powerful than they would have been if no obstacle had been put in the way of normal sexual satisfaction - Perversions often occur because there are too many difficulties standing in the way of normal sexual satisfactions, although this is not always the case - If withholding normal sexual satisfaction will bring out perverse tendencies in people who hadn’t previously shown them, that means that these people had previously harboured latent perversions that simply were not revealed until normal sexual satisfaction was withheld - Sexual perversions have their origin in childhood, and all children practice them - Perverse sexuality is simply magnified infantile sexuality divide
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