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(1960). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXIX, 1958: The Function of Moral Masochism: With Special Reference to the Defense Processes. Charles W. Socarides. Pp. 587-597.. Psychoanal Q., 29:132.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXIX, 1958: The Function of Moral Masochism: With Special Reference to the Defense Processes. Charles W. Socarides. Pp. 587-597.

(1960). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 29:132

International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXIX, 1958: The Function of Moral Masochism: With Special Reference to the Defense Processes. Charles W. Socarides. Pp. 587-597.

Moral masochism like all other aspects of human behavior is overdetermined. The author writes particularly of the genetic, dynamic, and adaptive aspects of moral masochism, with case illustrations. The future masochist has been deprived of loving care in infancy. This results in severe conflicts about aggression, intense imperative cravings for love and care, and 'fear of abandonment'. Pain becomes a source of pleasure. When later such a person does not receive love and reassurance he resorts to self-punishment in order to relieve himself of guilt over his aggression. He provokes others to punish him; by self-punishment he indicates to others that he is harmless and good so that they will love him and that he is worthy of this love. The chief defenses that he employs are denial, introjection, projection, and reaction-formation. Socarides discusses in detail a painter who also danced and amused audiences in order to win atttention and admiration and to reassure herself that she was not poisonous to others, as well as to give her a sense of invulnerability.

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Article Citation

(1960). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXIX, 1958. Psychoanal. Q., 29:132

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