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Friedman, R.C. Downey, J.I. (2004). On: Homosexuality: Coming out of the confusion. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 85(2):521-522.

(2004). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 85(2):521-522

On: Homosexuality: Coming out of the confusion Related Papers

Richard C. Friedman and Jennifer I. Downey

Dear Sirs,

This letter is in response to Sidney Phillips (2003), in which the author criticizes an article by Bergeret (2002) which expressed a pathological view of homosexuality. Bergeret's and Phillips's articles express antithetical beliefs about homosexuality. Many psychoanalysts throughout the world accept Bergeret's perspectives which are based on what we have termed traditional psychoanalytic ideas about sexual orientation (Downey and Friedman, 1998; Friedman, 2001). Many others share Dr Phillips's views. In this letter we provide additional perspectives about issues that neither discussed.

Particularly in the USA, psychoanalytic perspectives about sexual orientation began to change in the 1980s. The first indication that North American psychoanalysts were about to abandon traditional psychoanalytic views of sexual orientation was a Panel, ‘Toward a further understanding of homosexual men’ (1983), presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychoanalytic Association (Friedman, 1986). Richard Isay, Stanley Leavy, Robert Stoller and Richard C. Friedman delivered papers that were highly critical of the type of reasoning about homosexuality used by Bergeret in his recent article. Later in the 1980s three books addressed the confusion about homosexuality and presented evidence-based rationales for abandoning traditional psychoanalytic views about sexual orientation. Phillips has outlined the contributions of Isay (1989). Lewes (1988) discussed the problem of bias in the psychoanalytic literature on male homosexuality.

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