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Tyminski, R.F. (2004). FRIEDMAN, RICHARD C. & DOWNEY, JENNIFER I. Sexual Orientation and Psychoanalysis: Sexual Science and Clinical Practice. New York: Columbia University Press, 2002. Pp. 352. Hbk. $35.00.. J. Anal. Psychol., 49(1):116-118.
   

(2004). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 49(1):116-118

FRIEDMAN, RICHARD C. & DOWNEY, JENNIFER I. Sexual Orientation and Psychoanalysis: Sexual Science and Clinical Practice. New York: Columbia University Press, 2002. Pp. 352. Hbk. $35.00.

Review by:
Robert F. Tyminski

In the wake of the United States Supreme Court's recent decision (Lawrence v. Texas) to overturn state sodomy laws, we are reminded of the long history of criminalizing, stigmatizing, and pathologizing homosexual behaviours, desires, and preferences. It therefore seems apt to examine this new clinical contribution by Friedman and Downey to the ever evolving field of sexual orientation research. This book updates and expands an earlier work by Friedman (1988) that significantly countered then existing views about the alleged psychopathology of homosexuality. Here, Friedman joins with Downey to review the biological underpinnings of sexual orientation as well as the resulting psychological correlates of gender development and sexual fantasy. The Jungian reader may appreciate what these authors have to say about the neurobiology of sexual orientation, for it is in this arena that the book stands out and differentiates itself from a symbolic or archetypal understanding of sexuality.

In the initial theoretical section of the book, Friedman and Downey lay out the case for considering sexual orientation to be largely derived from genetic and biological predispositions. They emphasize a wealth of physiological research on gender development, specifically childhood gender nonconformity, which is strongly associated with adult homosexual orientation: ‘Despite the fact that there is no unitary biological “cause” for any type of sexual orientation, we agree with Isay that it makes sense to consider homosexual orientation to be innate in most gay men and in life-long lesbians’ (p. 83). It was Isay's work in the late 1980's that challenged psychoanalytic dogma concerning homosexuality as a form of developmental arrest; he proposed a non-pathological model of defences and object relations to spotlight the internal world of gay men (Isay 1989). Friedman and Downey advance the discussion solidly into the biological realm by connecting behaviours (e.g., rough and tumble play in boys) to fantasies (e.g.,

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