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Drescher, J. (1997). From Preoedipal to Postmodern: Changing Psychoanalytic Attitudes toward Homosexuality. Gender and Psychoanalysis, 2(2):203-216.

(1997). Gender and Psychoanalysis, 2(2):203-216

From Preoedipal to Postmodern: Changing Psychoanalytic Attitudes toward Homosexuality Related Papers

Jack Drescher, M.D.

New York University Postdoctoral Program's Conference, “Perspectives on Homosexuality: An Open Dialogue,” represented a sea-change in historic psychoanalytic attitudes toward homosexuality. Prior to that conference and the publication of Disorienting Sexuality most psychoanalytic relationships with lesbians and gay men were characterized by a broad range of emotional, intellectual, and theoretical attitudes and constructions that included professional ostracism, outright hostility, and patronizing compassion. The author, from the perspective of a gay male psychoanalyst, presents an overview of differing psychoanalytic attitudes toward homosexuality from the time of Freud through the present. The point is made that the inability of the psychoanalytic community to reflect openly on the discriminatory aspects of its distant and recent history has been a blind spot. The problem of speaking about homosexuality within a psychoanalytic framework has been limited by the absence of openly gay psychoanalysts. The paper defines some of the attitudes that prevented openly gay voices from contributing to the psychoanalytic dialogue about human sexuality.

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