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Roiphe, H. Galenson, E. (1973). Object Loss and Early Sexual Development. Psychoanal Q., 42:73-90.

(1973). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 42:73-90

Object Loss and Early Sexual Development

Herman Roiphe, M.D. and Eleanor Galenson, M.D.


Our experience leads us to believe that there is an endogenously rooted phallic sexual current which, by the middle of the second year, becomes increasingly influential in a child's development. We believe that the developing object relationship and body schematization give shape to this emerging sexual current and the primary genital schematization that takes place at this time in the child's life. We have in this paper offered some evidence to suggest that the underlying 'feeling fantasy' of this sexual arousal involves the consolidation of the object representation and the self-representation. Early experiences that tend to challenge the child unduly with the threat of object loss and body dissolution result in a faulty and fluctuating genital outline of the body at a time when the genital schematization normally undergoes a primary consolidation.

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