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Riggall, R.M. (1927). Sexuality: J. C. Flügel. Sexual and Social Sentiments. Brit. Journal of Medical Psychology, 1927, Vol. VII., p. 139.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 8:530-531.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Sexuality: J. C. Flügel. Sexual and Social Sentiments. Brit. Journal of Medical Psychology, 1927, Vol. VII., p. 139.

(1927). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 8:530-531

Sexuality: J. C. Flügel. Sexual and Social Sentiments. Brit. Journal of Medical Psychology, 1927, Vol. VII., p. 139.

Robert M. Riggall

Sexuality and sociality are antagonistic. A man in love is less obviously gregarious. Betrothal and marriage make matters no better in this respect. Religion, education, etc., endeavour to keep sexuality at a distance. The object of this paper is to enquire into the psychological and sociological basis of this antagonism. The views of McDougall, Trotter and McCurdy, who believe that the gregarious is quite distinct from the sexual instinct, are contrasted with those of Freud's libido theory. Freud believes that the instinctual energy involved is the same, social tendencies being only special differentiations of the sexual instinct. Discussing the psychological differences according to Freud, the absence of the sensual element in social relationships is explained in terms of repression. The sexual instinct is present in an inhibited form. According to Freud's theory the 'aim inhibition' is connected with the fundamental repressions producing the 'latent sexual period'. The greater constancy and permanence of the aim-inhibited manifestations of the sexual instinct is connected in the case of social ties with the absence of reduction of instinctive tension, such as is afforded by orgasm. Identification plays a more important part in social than in sexual ties. In the first case we desire 'to be' and in the second case we desire 'to have' the loved object. Another difference is found in the greater diffuseness of social ties. Love and identification occur for many individuals in place of concentrated love for a single individual. All these factors make social relationship between members of the same sex easier than between members of the opposite sex. In this connection Flügel coins the words 'homosocial' and 'heterosocial'.

The greater development of male homosociality is due to the greater narcissism of women, which creates an antisocial influence. During the last century male narcissism has been greatly repressed, and this has not taken place to a corresponding extent among women. This factor should not be over-emphasized. In feminine homosociality the libido is less 'aim inhibited' than in male homosocial relations, so that sensuality is more prominent in the former than in the latter. The widely distributed erotic sensibility of women causes them to introduce non-genital sexuality into their homosocial relationships. The satisfaction gained is to some extent antagonistic to the formation of homosocial sentiments. Women are more monogamous and less promiscuous than men; this characteristic probably depends upon a lesser liability to dissociation of the sensual and

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tender elements of love. This is an antisocial factor. Monogamy engenders jealousy in both sexes and this interferes with sociality. Women have more to gain by marriage than men; this fact also causes jealousy. A most important factor is that women's work is often of a relatively domestic and unsocial nature as compared with man's. The seclusion of women in the home also interferes with social behaviour. The author does not fail to observe, however, that under present day conditions the influence of some of these factors is tending to diminish. The increased social life of women is following a heterosocial rather than a homosocial course. This automatically increases male heterosociality. The institution of the family is in many ways antagonistic to but in other ways favourable to social sentiments. Tracing the influence of the family through successive ages, certain changes have occurred which are compared with those taking place in the environment as a whole. Although the family is probably the most primitive and natural social unit, in the 'totemic age' it lost much of its importance as compared with the clan. In some ways, however, a satisfactory compromise occurred between jealousy and sociality. Later it became more important, but in the present times it is yielding its importance to social influences. Sociality implies less jealousy and exclusive possession. Romantic sexual love favours the formation of social sentiments because it implies 'aim inhibition', less egoism and narcissism, increased sublimation and an overflow of love on to others. This overflow of love shows a deep-lying connection between sexual and social feelings. There is a simultaneous reinforcement of these feelings at adolescence. When the overcoming of exclusive rights in love is accomplished the antagonism between the claims of sexuality and society will be very much reduced.

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Article Citation

Riggall, R.M. (1927). Sexuality. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 8:530-531

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