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Clower, V.L. (1976). Theoretical Implications In Current Views Of Masturbation In Latency Girls. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 24S(Supplement):109-125.

(1976). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 24S(Supplement):109-125

Theoretical Implications In Current Views Of Masturbation In Latency Girls

Virginia L. Clower, M.D.

Presented at the meeting of the American Psychoanalytic Association, December 13, 1974, in New York.

IN PREPARING THIS CONTRIBUTION I have proceeded on two assumptions that should be clarified. The first is that analysts today agree on the meaning of the term "latency." Freud proposed the concept in 1905 to designate a period of diminished drive urgency relative to the preceding oedipal phase. The latency of the drives was viewed as the intrapsychic resolution of the oedipal conflict in which the ego, confronted with the reality of the child's immaturity and sexual inadequacy, is aided by superego condemnation of oedipal libidinal and aggressive fantasies. As the concept of latency has been tested, question has arisen as to whether there is an actual decrease in biological forces. It appears that the demands of education and socialization, mediated through relations with the parents, encourage consolidation of ego and superego function. With better balance between drive and ego, there is more stable ego function and a relative, not an absolute, decrease in drive intensity.

The second assumption is that all analysts today realize that girls in the latency age group do masturbate.

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