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Socarides, C.W. (1960). The Development of a Fetishistic Perversion—The Contribution of Preoedipal Phase Conflict. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 8:281-311.

(1960). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 8:281-311

The Development of a Fetishistic Perversion—The Contribution of Preoedipal Phase Conflict

Charles W. Socarides, M.D.

In 1931 Freud, in his paper on "Female Sexuality" (11), clearly foresaw the difficulties and controversies inherent in the study of clinical phenomena based on unresolved conflicts of the period of life which antedates the oedipal phase. "Our insight into this early, pre-Oedipus phase … comes to us as a surprise, comparable in another field with the effect of the discovery of the Minoan-Mycenaean civilization behind that of Greece. Everything connected with this first mother-attachment has in analysis seemed to me so elusive, lost in a past so dim and shadowy, so hard to resuscitate, that it seemed as if it had undergone some specially inexorable repression" (pp. 253-254). Difficulties notwithstanding, Freud proceeded to evolve a remarkably accurate and verifiable theoretical structure of psychic events and behavior during that period for the female, touching only briefly on events occurring in the male. Subsequently, other observers have added materially to our knowledge of that period. Major contributions have been made by Ruth Mack Brunswick (4), (6), Lampl-de Groot (22), Jacobson (18), Kestenberg (19), and van der Leeuw (27). Ruth Mack Brunswick's study of these phenomena appeared three years before Freud's. He refers to her 1928 paper entitled "The Analysis of a Case of Paranoia" (5), wherein delusional jealousy in a female was traced to her preoedipal attachment to her sister.


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