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Allen, D.W. (1967). Exhibitionistic and Voyeuristic Conflicts in Learning and Functioning. Psychoanal Q., 36:546-570.

(1967). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 36:546-570

Exhibitionistic and Voyeuristic Conflicts in Learning and Functioning

David W. Allen, M.D.


The partial instincts of exhibitionism and voyeurism are present in everyone. They tend to form defensive polarities in the psychological economy. Several cases have been presented to demonstrate how these defenses affect adult learning and functioning; traumatic looking and showing incidents of early life can become the basis for later screen memories and acting out. Exhibitionistic-voyeuristic factors constantly influence the psychoanalytic process for both the analysand and analyst. Every correct interpretation, for example, indicates to the patient that he has been accurately perceived and that the analyst is able to observe and exhibit his findings.

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