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Fischer, R.E. Juni, S. (1981). Anality: A Theory of Erotism and Characterology. Am. J. Psychoanal., 41(1):57-71.

(1981). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 41(1):57-71

Anality: A Theory of Erotism and Characterology

Richard E. Fischer, Ph.D. and Samuel Juni, Ph.D.

The purpose of this paper is to present a clear formulation of the construct of anality, utilizing various contributions from clinical theory, psychoanalysis, and characterology. The major areas covered are the erotogenic components predominating in the anal psychosexual stage, the pathological maladjustments, and the neo-Freudian perspectives. We have not included in the discussion an important topic which provides an alternate approach in the conceptualization of characterology-the topic of defense mechanisms-since that facet of anality is adequately covered in other works on the two primary defenses of this stage: projection27,28 and reaction formation.29,30

Anality as a Psychosexual Stage

From its very beginning, psychoanalysis has relegated the anal zone, the intestinal contents, and the act of defecation to a position of paramount importance in infancy and subsequent character development.2,7,18,26,32 Developmentally, the anal stage can be conceptualized as intermediary between the primitive egocentricity of the oral stage and the ultimate instinct-object resolution of the oedipal stage-a pivotal position critical to psychosexual maturation. The events transpiring during this period are of crucial interest to the infant, and more repression and suppression is enforced on this period than on the other psychosexual stages.40

The anal phase begins with birth, but becomes important in psychosexual development from the twelfth to the twenty-fourth month of life.13,36 Prior to this period, oral interests reign supreme; subsequent to the anal stage, genital trends predominate. However, active interest in the evacuation process (and in the feces as an object) continues to the sixth and seventh years.

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