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Riggall, R.M. (1923). Homosexuality and Alcoholism. Psychoanal. Rev., 10(2):157-169.

(1923). Psychoanalytic Review, 10(2):157-169

Homosexuality and Alcoholism

Robert M. Riggall, MRCS, LRCP, LRCS


Freud tells us that the two fundamental facts which psychoanalysis has revealed are (1) that homosexual men have experienced a very strong mother-fixation, and (2) that in addition to their manifest heterosexuality all normal people show a considerable measure of latent or unconscious homosexuality. This latent homosexuality may be either repressed or sublimated, and it is only when the repression or sublimation has been incomplete, that the inversion asserts itself in those physical acts which in this and several other European countries are regarded, rightly or wrongly, as criminal. It will be enough to point out here that in all probability the widespread hostility against all forms of male homosexuality are due to repressions connected with anal-erotic tendencies.

In the light of the Freudian interpretation of bisexual development homosexual tendencies are easily understood. The psychosexual development may be compared to the development of physical sexual characteristics from a common origin. Whence it follows that in the build-up of any human being there are active and passive psychical characteristics. In most cases, however, the homosexual side, although well marked up to the time of puberty, subsequently becomes almost wholly repressed or sublimated. These sublimations may be easily recognized. Various social institutions suggest the paths they must have taken. There is, for instance, freemasonry; there are certain religious assemblies. In this country in particular, there is sport. And, what is from the point of view of this paper most important of all, there are the public houses. For it is my object to show how alcoholic excess hinders the sublimation of homosexuality.

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