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St. John, C. (2004). The Voice, Language, And The Gendered Self. Studies in Gender and Sexuality, 5(1):419-442.

(2004). Studies in Gender and Sexuality, 5(1):419-442

The Voice, Language, And The Gendered Self Related Papers

Cornelia St. John, M.A., MFT

This paper examines the intersubjective cocreation of gender ambiguities, identifications, and defensive disidentifications as they emerged out of the vicissitudes of an erotic transference- countertransference in the analysis of a man who stutters. The author posits that the patient's ruptured speech provides an entryway into exploring the problematics of gender. For this man, embracing his masculinity placed him in severe conflict with powerful feminine identifications. The author experienced transferentially the embodiment of different gendered states: receptive preoedipal mother, castrating “phallicmother, sensuous lover, sadistic penetrating male, benevolent father. She suggests that the stuttering can be understood as an emblem of the sacrifice of the lost primordial union with the mother that accompanies the transition into language.

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