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Freud, S. (1927). Some Psychological Consequences of the Anatomical Distinction Between the Sexes. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 8:133-142.

(1927). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 8:133-142

Some Psychological Consequences of the Anatomical Distinction Between the Sexes

Sigmund Freud

In my own writings and in those of my followers more and more stress is laid upon the necessity for carrying the analyses of neurotics back into the remotest period of their childhood, the time at which sexual life reaches the climax of its early development. It is only by examining the first manifestations of the patient's innate instinctual constitution and the effects of his earliest experiences that we can accurately gauge the motive forces that have led to his neurosis and can be secure against the errors into which we might be tempted by the degree to which they have become remodelled and overlaid in adult life. This requirement is not only of theoretical but also of practical importance, for it distinguishes our efforts from the work of those physicians whose interests are focussed exclusively upon therapeutic results and who employ analytic methods but only up to a certain point. An analysis of early childhood such as we are considering is tedious and laborious and makes demands both upon the physician and upon the patient which cannot always be met. Moreover it leads us into dark regions where there are as yet no sign posts. Indeed, analysts may feel reassured, I think, that there is no risk of their work becoming mechanical and so of losing its interest during the next few decades.

In the following pages I bring forward some findings of analytical research which would be of great importance if they could be proved to apply universally.

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