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Frenkel, R.S. (2000). Homosexual Object Choice: Observations from the Analysis of Three Bisexual Women. J. Clin. Psychoanal., 9(3):331-349.

(2000). Journal of Clinical Psychoanalysis, 9(3):331-349

Clinical Papers

Homosexual Object Choice: Observations from the Analysis of Three Bisexual Women

Dr. Rhoda S. Frenkel, M.D.

The psychoanalysis of three women who were bisexual provides the opportunity to explore some common factors in their choice of a lesbian lifestyle. It merits emphasis that I do not propose them as representative of the whole homosexual population, which in my opinion is quite diverse. This paper will focus on why these three patients chose a lesbian lifestyle, when in their early and young adult life they were heterosexual; and moreover continued to find the act of heterosexual sex, intercourse, more pleasurable. Their choice of a lesbian lifestyle provides important analytic data which require us to reexamine and help redefine issues of drive and object relations. Although the sexual relationships were satisfying and orgastic the data provide impressive evidence that the gratification of their object relationships outweighed their instinctual drive. The basis for this review relates to the implications for psychoanalytic theory for human development in both men and women.

In previous analytic studies of object choice in women (1991a, b, 1992, 1993, 1996), I proposed that the separation between instinctual drives and object relationships may be arbitrary. These analyses, conducted from the perspective of traditional instinctual drive theory, provided extensive clinical and related data. The data indicated that the ongoing conflict separating traditional analytic theory, which emphasizes the motivational force of instinctual drives, and those theories, that emphasize the power of object relationships, is artificial. These studies, albeit from a limited population pool, indicate

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