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Willig, W. (1954). Overemphasis on “Love and Sex” A Character Study. Am. J. Psychoanal., 14(1):115-122.

(1954). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 14(1):115-122

Overemphasis on “Love and Sex” A Character Study

Wanda Willig, M.D.

This Case presentation is an attempt to illustrate Horney's assumption that “the kind of character determines an individual's sexuality” and not, as Freud postulated, that “the kind of sexuality determines man's character.”

The patient was an attractive and intelligent woman in her late twenties, who came to analysis because of severe difficulties in her marriage. Her character structure may be roughly described as that of an extremely expansive, masterful individual with an aggressive orientation toward life, very destructive and self-destructive in her extreme, vindictive attitudes. All of this was mostly unconscious and covered by a layer of manifest sweetness, ready compliance and self-effacement. She lived in the illusion of being a helpless female at the mercy of a brutal society ruled by the male. She felt magnanimous in giving generously of her femininity, not entirely aware that she actually used it as a weapon to conquer the male world. Her living in imagination was so pronounced that her ambitious wishes, desires and fantasies were fulfilled as soon as they were conceived. She also held the firm belief that being “a superman” she could defy any laws to which other human beings are subject. This came into play in her sex life, the only sphere of her existence in which she was alive and constantly making strategic moves to achieve her neurotic aims.

In the nomenclature of classical psychiatry or medical jurisprudence, her pathological sex behavior would be classified as sexual delinquency and promiscuity with sexual perversions.

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