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Pruett, K.D. (1985). Oedipal Configurations in Young Father-Raised Children. Psychoanal. St. Child, 40:435-456.

(1985). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 40:435-456

Oedipal Configurations in Young Father-Raised Children

Kyle Dean Pruett, M.D.

Only when I became a father did I begin to notice my own father's tender and intimate nurturing qualities. His lingering glances, his abiding soft strength, his wish to feed which stopped short at suckling, his endless jokes about my mother's belly, his unfailing memory about my infancy. For the first time in my life, I understood the meaning of the word generation. A lost secret of our language is that it is really a verb, masquerading as a noun.
—Attributed to DOSTOEVSKY

THIS COMMUNICATION OFFERS SOME THOUGHTS AND QUESTIONS conceived during an ongoing longitudinal study of the natural history of a natural experiment. I describe a group of families that find and create for themselves a classic reversal of the most seminal occupation of our species, that of parenting. In these families the father raises the babies and the mother wins the bread. I have previously reported on the early development of infants and toddlers raised in these circumstances (Pruett, 1983), (1985). Here I report the first observations gleaned of the 4-year follow-up of these families, with special emphasis on a pivotal event in the lives of these 4- to 6-year-olds, the maturation of sexual identity.

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