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Lewis, W.C. (1965). Coital Movements in the First Year of Life—Earliest Anlage of Genital Love?. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 46:372-374.

(1965). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 46:372-374

Coital Movements in the First Year of Life—Earliest Anlage of Genital Love?

William C. Lewis

Psycho-analysts know how crucial are the vicissitudes of infantile sexuality for all subsequent development. We share an understanding of the sequences of this development which may differ in details but in the main follows Freud's original statement in the Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality. This of course needs no review, but we may refer in passing to examples of recent variations of earlier views: Erikson's (1950) elaboration of it in his theory of modes and zones, Greenacre's (1954) view that all partial drives are present from birth and simply have differential maturation rates which account for phase dominance of a zone, Glover's (1932) formulations concerning ego nuclei, and the whole reevaluation of the Libido Theory undertaken by a panel at the American Psychoanalytic Association Meeting in 1955 (Brenner, 1956).

The second half of the child's first year, in this understanding, is still dominated by the oral zone, but sadistic oral impulses have appeared and the early phases of anal organizations are appearing. Self and object representations are still fluid and only gradually consolidating, as described, for instance, by Jacobson (1954). Genital object love, and its expression in coitus, is not even on the horizon—not to be expected until more than a decade later in puberty. Many types of repetitive motor patterns are familiar in this period. Autoerotic and tension-relieving patterns are commonplace, (rocking, head-banging, etc.), but we think of these as reflecting incomplete, frustrated, or defective object relations.

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