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Heenen-Wolff, S. (2014). Same Sex Parenthood. Rivista Psicoanal., 60(1):147-158.

(2014). Rivista di Psicoanalisi, 60(1):147-158

Same Sex Parenthood

Susann Heenen-Wolff

Sexual Orientation and the Oedipus Complex

In the past, psychoanalysts have without doubt contributed to a negative image of homosexuality. Many of them interpreted the Freudian concept of the Oedipus complex in quite a narrow way: either its outcome was «positive» or «negative» and this meant «heterosexuality» and «homosexuality» respectively: the identification with the parent of the same sex follows the renunciation of possessing the parent of the opposite sex and was considered the peak of infantile sexuality and as the pre-condition for the consequent development of adult heterosexuality. From such a «classic psychoanalytic» viewpoint, homosexuality is understood as resulting from a regression to or a fixation on a stage or modes of temporal experience preceding the dissolution of the Oedipus complex and, in the end, as a failure of Oedipal rivalry, leading to an identification with the parent of the opposite sex. But Freud himself had underlined in his later works that things were much more complicated than what he had first thought.


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