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Meltzer, D. (1974). Chapter Fifteen: A Theory of Sexual Perversion. Adolescence: Talks and Papers by Donald Meltzer and Martha Harris, 205-220.

Meltzer, D. (1974). Chapter Fifteen: A Theory of Sexual Perversion. Adolescence: Talks and Papers by Donald Meltzer and Martha Harris , 205-220

Chapter Fifteen: A Theory of Sexual Perversion Book Information Previous Up Next

Donald Meltzer

Last August, when I was discussing adolescent states of mind, and the linkage with the earlier emotional caesura of the entry of the child into the world, I tried to convey how the relationship of the child with his internal objects prepares him to address the external world and his relationships within it.

Now, turning more particularly to perversions, we need to examine more closely the qualities and intricate details of those internal object relations, and the narcissistic manner in which a young person may attempt to bypass the pains of sexual difference and intimate relationships. While teenagers have to deal with the whole spectrum of confusion, when talking about perversions we need to focus on a particular type of confusion: the confusion, that is, between good and bad. While adolescents struggle intensely with a thirst for knowledge—the desire to understand, and the desire and effort to resolve confusion, we also note an opposing psychological force—the use of deliberate confusion, created as


1 A talk given at a seminar in Novara in 1974 and published in Quaderni di Psicoterapia Infantile no. 1, edited by C. Brutti and F. Scotti, pp. 79-100. Translated from the Italian by Neil Maizels and Vicky Nicholls.

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