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Ferraro, F. (2001). Vicissitudes of Bisexuality: Crucial Points and Clinical Implications. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 82(3):485-499.

(2001). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 82(3):485-499

Vicissitudes of Bisexuality: Crucial Points and Clinical Implications

Fausta Ferraro

The author begins by noting that the heuristic value of the concept of bisexuality can be explored in two directions, involving respectively its role in psychopathology and in the development of creativity and thought. The author concentrates on the first of these aspects, which entails a reconsideration of the ‘phallic question’. The status of femininity is investigated on the basis of Freud's and Winnicott's theories of bisexuality and the author here finds an explanation for the repudiation of femininity and for the ‘phallic question’ thereby implied, which represents the underlying bedrock resulting in interminable analyses. An important element in this rejection is stated to be the maternal aspect of femininity. Particular reference is made to the somatic roots of phallic defences and to their effects on thought and symbolisation. Some brief clinical examples are presented to suggest that the bedrock may be due to the distorted use of sensoriality and of the erotogenic zones. The author contends that the anal zone plays a crucial part in the manifestations of bisexuality and contrasts phallic logic with the logic of triangulation. Numerous literature references and clinical examples support and illustrate her arguments throughout. The author ends with a discussion of the implications of bisexuality for thought and knowledge.

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