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Stephen, K. (1939). Friendship-Love in Adolescence: By N. M. Lovetz-Tereshchenko. (Allen & Unwin Ltd., London. Pp. 367. Price 16 s.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 20:109-110.

(1939). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 20:109-110

Friendship-Love in Adolescence: By N. M. Lovetz-Tereshchenko. (Allen & Unwin Ltd., London. Pp. 367. Price 16 s.)

Review by:
Karin Stephen

The author's purpose in collecting the material set forth in this book is to show that there are two kinds of love possible for human beings: one, which he calls friendship-love, which occurs about the time of the onset of puberty, in both sexes, and which may be directed to either sex or to both sexes at once; the other, sexual love, which is only directed towards the opposite sex, is concerned with reproduction, accompanied by genital feeling and 'general voluptuousness'. In the author's view these two kinds of love are poles apart. Friendship-love is not sexual; it is not in conflict with religion; it brings with it a feeling of gratitude and goodness; physically it is felt somewhere in the breast and not at all in the genitals. It is not accompanied by any desire for intercourse, has no reproductive purpose, and, if it seeks for bodily contact at all, such contact takes the form, for instance, of holding hands. Mostly this love is satisfied by gazing at the beloved. Friendship-love makes the lover better. In this it contrasts sharply with sexual love, as described by the author, which arouses feelings of shame, is surreptitious and accompanied by genital feelings which conflict with religion and take away self-respect.

In proof of these theories about the two distinct kinds of love—good friendship-love and bad sexual love—the author has collected a quantity of very interesting material, consisting of what he calls the 'Archives' of a number of children; that is to say, of a collection of documents, including intimate diaries, original literary productions such as stories and poems, letters and postcards, and notes, and he has worked out very carefully and exactly the ages at which these various documents were written, and arranged them in chronological order.

These archives make interesting reading, and give a very vivid picture of the writers' daily lives and of some aspects, at any rate, of their emotional development. Whether they support the author's contention about the non-sexual nature of friendship-love as conclusively as he believes is a matter for the reader to decide.


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