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Appelbaum, S.A. (2000). Which Homosexuality?. J. Clin. Psychoanal., 9(3):289-290.

(2000). Journal of Clinical Psychoanalysis, 9(3):289-290

Symposium: Psychoanalysis and Homosexuality

Which Homosexuality?

Stephen A. Appelbaum, Ph.D.

Here are two popular and plausible explanations of homosexuality: (1) Homosexuality is an expression of unconscious fantasy wound around dynamic conflict. As such it represents difficulty solving the unavoidable challenges inherent in ontogenetic (psychosexual) stages. Consequently, it inhibits heterosexuality, the normatively cultural outcomes of identity struggles. (2) Homosexuality is an expression of what is natural for the person as determined by genetics and constitution.

If the first hypothesis is true, then dynamic conflicts would militate, perhaps make impossible, any smoothly functioning interpersonal relationships. There could not be, for example, happy homosexual marriages. Further, the damage and distortion of the personality would infiltrate many areas and activities resulting in one or another pathology. This seems not to be the case. Clinical as well as common observation reveals homosexual adjustments—corrected for problems stemming from societal condemnation—are no more or less likely to be successful than are heterosexual ones.

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