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Lingiardi, V. Capozzi, P. (2004). Psychoanalytic attitudes towards homosexuality: An empirical research. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 85(1):137-158.

(2004). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 85(1):137-158

Psychoanalytic attitudes towards homosexuality: An empirical research

Vittorio Lingiardi and Paola Capozzi

Homosexuality is a challenging subject for the psychoanalytic community, which is now rethinking some of its basic theoretical and institutional assumptions. In recent decades psychoanalytic theory has changed, and the classical psychosexual model has been challenged. After a short review of major psychoanalytical theories of homosexuality, the authors focus on the existence of contrasting attitudes towards homosexuality. This plurality of theories and their clinical and institutional consequences stimulated the authors to investigate the relationship between the individual analysts theoretical model and his/her clinical practice. The authors present the results of empirical research conducted in the Italian psychoanalytic community on the attitude of psychoanalysts towards homosexuality and the implications for cultural, theoretical and institutional issues. A questionnaire was sent to 600 psychoanalysts (206 of which responded), members of the five main Italian psychoanalytic institutions. First, analysts' personal characteristics and preferred theoretical models were investigated. Second, the respondents responded to statements eliciting their theoretical and clinical approach towards homosexuality. Results indicate that: a) cultural and theoretical background influences the analysts' attitudes towards homosexuality more than gender; b) there is a discrepancy between analysts' theoretical position and their clinical practice; and c) IPA institutes are more discriminatory towards homosexual colleagues than are Jungian ones.

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