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(1923). Applied: Carl Müller-Braunschweig. Psychoanalyse und Sexualreform. (Lecture given before the International Congress of Sexual Reform. 1921.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 4:494-495.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Applied: Carl Müller-Braunschweig. Psychoanalyse und Sexualreform. (Lecture given before the International Congress of Sexual Reform. 1921.)

(1923). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 4:494-495

Applied: Carl Müller-Braunschweig. Psychoanalyse und Sexualreform. (Lecture given before the International Congress of Sexual Reform. 1921.)

1. Homosexuality. Homosexuality, including unconscious, latent homosexuality, is normally a transitory phase in the development of the libido from auto-erotism, through narcissism, to the final stage of the libido organisation of the genital and heterosexual object love. Permanent homosexuality, therefore, appears as a partial (sexual) inhibition of development. Among the determining factors being a strong fixation in early childhood to the mother, with a consequent alienation from her arising therefrom, we find also a fixation to the narcissitic phase, the influence of the parent of the same sex, and all the mechanisms of the aetiology of neurosis. Over and above the fixation, we have repression and renunciation, as well as displacement and regression all playing their part. The prevalence of masculine and feminine, active and passive tendencies is not identical with hetero- and homosexual adjustments. The possibility of being able to influence homosexuality by means of psycho-analysis has been proved in a number of cases.

Constituents of sexual reform. Moral inferiority may, but need not be connected with homosexuality. Infantile and archaic traces are often more than compensated by means of cultural values. Whether biological variations (Hirschfeld) or inhibitions of development, the compulsion in both cases is so keenly felt that a penal law can produce no balance to it.

2. Connections within the Family.

a. Libido in relation to the members of the family on the part of the child is present from the earliest days; later, however, it will be repressed and often remains so fixated to the unconscious phantasy pictures of the familiar objects that the normal transference of libido demanded from the adult upon an object outside the family miscarries.

b. Through the repression of the early childish libido directed upon members of the family, it often becomes so sharply divided into a purely sexual manifestation (genital) on the one hand, and a tender, apparently asexual one, (extra-genital), that these two streams cannot bring about the condition of once again converging upon one and the same love-object, chosen from without the family, which is demanded from the adult.

Practical Precaution. Avoidance of unnecessary excitement of childish sexuality through too intense tenderness of the educator; avoidance of the exclusiveness of the family. Explanation to the educator concerning the libidinal character of inter-family relationships.

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3. The Incest Barrier. The horror of incest is by no means due to an original instinct for the avoidance of 'in-breeding', but to the unconscious obedience still in operation in the present-day individual, to the Chief of the Primitive Horde, who claimed all the women for himself and slew all who opposed his prohibition.

Privately nothing important can be alleged against incestuous union. (Incestuous feelings are commonly present and compatible with highest cultural significance; actual in-breeding is only injurious to the quality of descendants after generations.) Publicly, it is to be considered that the State is to a large extent a product of incestuous renunciation; therefore it is difficult to deride whether it can entirely renounce the determination to punish by law.

4. Marriage, Monogamy, Polygamy. The monogamous tendency repeats the exclusiveness and permanent quality of the relationship between mother and child in a more or less successful transference upon an object outside the family. The polygamous tendency is, firstly, the expression of transference, which for reasons of the libido not being sufficiently released from the family cannot bind itself permanently to one and the same object, but must always seek some new object; secondly, the expression of the displacement of repressed homosexual and perverse emotions. The polygamous tendency (like its source) is always present. The strict monogamous demand is therefore an overstrain. More suitable were a union of monogamous and mutual love relationship. Compulsory marriage to be abolished.

Conclusion. The structure of Society is to be compared to that of an obsessional neurosis, which insures the individual against emotions by unconscious prohibitions of all kinds. It is to be hoped that we are perhaps so far resigned to the insurances to be able at least to modify them without losing our balance, and may now proceed from a condition of over-morality to a greater tolerance towards the instinctual life.

Author's Abstract.

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Article Citation

(1923). Applied. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 4:494-495

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