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Balsam, R.H. (2017). Freud, the Birthing Body, and Modern Life. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 65(1):61-90.
    

(2017). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 65(1):61-90

Freud, the Birthing Body, and Modern Life Related Papers

Rosemary H. Balsam

Freud early on had an astute sense of the psychic impact of the bodily power of females' biological sex and childbearing potential. His early appreciation of the biological femaleness of a body, however, became gradually obscured after 1908, distorted by an exaggerated male view that was challenged in the 1920s and 1930s but then became fixed in stone by his followers. This strange but hegemonic view was once again challenged, especially in the U.S., in the 1970s. In spite of sporadic efforts after that, however, the impact of the female body qua female, in analysis and for the mind's functioning, has never been acknowledged in general in psychoanalytic thought (except as marked as an infantile archaic fantasy or sequestered into a special adult “women's issues” category). Given the vibrant culture of enacted gender multiplicities that we encounter clinically today, where does this confused lag in understanding leave us regarding psychoanalytic ideas about natally sexed procreative female (or male) bodies as they articulate with gender?

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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