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Hart, M.G. (1977). Meetings of the Psychoanalytic Association of New York. Psychoanal Q., 46:554.

(1977). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 46:554

Meetings of the Psychoanalytic Association of New York

Marion G. Hart

DISCUSSION: Dr. Judith Kestenberg noted that pregnancy fantasies may derive from a variety of pregenital stages, with many different images of the mother and many different early phallic and prephallic body sensations serving as determining influences. She doubted that regression to the symbiotic phase under discussion would lead to pregnancy wishes. Dr. Muriel Laskin, citing the case of a male patient with negative oedipal wishes, noted that a distinction should be made between the "wish for a child," related to early separation-individuation problems, and the "wish to be a parent," arising after a stable resolution of the oedipal conflict. Dr. William Niederland spoke of the instances of notable creativity (Goya, Schliemann) related to losses or personal malformations, and of the frequency of marriages and childbirth in Holocaust survivors attempting to replace lost relatives. Other reconstitutive functions related to pregnancy fantasies manifest in psychosomatic conditions were cited by Dr. Leonard Barkin, while Dr. Henry Schneer believed that the frequent promiscuity and illegitimate births among juvenile delinquents represented the wish to restore the early mother-child relationship. Dr. Jackel added that in many cases, the out-of-wedlock baby is given to the girl's mother to be cared for.

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