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Cavell, M. (1998). Child Masturbation—A Genetic Viewpoint. With Special Reference to Anorexia and Bulimia Nervosa. Ralf Binswanger. Pp. 644-670. Psychoanal Q., 67(3):534.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Child Masturbation—A Genetic Viewpoint. With Special Reference to Anorexia and Bulimia Nervosa. Ralf Binswanger. Pp. 644-670

(1998). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 67(3):534

Child Masturbation—A Genetic Viewpoint. With Special Reference to Anorexia and Bulimia Nervosa. Ralf Binswanger. Pp. 644-670

Marcia Cavell

The author examines the functions of child masturbation in the development of narcissism and distinguishes a demarcation function, a compensation function, and a function serving to establish autonomy. In Binswanger's view, certain reactions to child masturbation on the part of parents may affect the interactive relationship between the child and the parent representing the primary object in such a way as to thwart or to undermine these functions. The result is the appearance of masturbation substitutes in the form of certain symptoms. Binswanger distinguishes “horrified,” “liberal,” and “eroticized” reactions by parents, relating the first to compulsion neurosis, the second to obesity, and the third to anorexia/bulimia. The author illustrates his hypotheses with copious references to cases from his own practice.

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Article Citation

Cavell, M. (1998). Child Masturbation—A Genetic Viewpoint. With Special Reference to Anorexia and Bulimia Nervosa. Ralf Binswanger.. Psychoanal. Q., 67(3):534

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