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(1989). Meeting of the New York Psychoanalytic Society. Psychoanal Q., 58:179-180.

(1989). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 58:179-180

Meeting of the New York Psychoanalytic Society

February 10, 1987. THREE COMMENTARIES ON GENDER IN FREUD'S THOUGHT: A PROLOGUE ON THE PSYCHOANALYTIC THEORY OF SEXUALITY. William I. Grossman, M.D. and Donald M. Kaplan, Ph.D.

Dr. Grossman and Dr. Kaplan presented a prologue to a series of papers they plan to write on sexuality as exemplified by female sexuality in psychoanalytic thought. They believe that being aware of Freud's three ways of talking about sex and gender—his "three commentaries"—is a helpful prelude to understanding his ideas. With respect to female psychology, some of Freud's ideas were not technical. That is, the justification for what he wrote had nothing to do with the psychoanalytic method. His observations of allegedly female and male traits are examples of this, and form what the authors call the first commentary. In a psychoanalytic perspective, a trait is only of preliminary interest, because a trait fails to convey anything dynamic that is of differing significance in the mental lives of different people. Like a symptom, a trait is a point of departure into a whole history of conflict.

There is a second commentary that is only partly technical. This commentary consists of Freud's various well-known narratives of female development.

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