Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To access “The Standard Edition” of Freud’s work…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

You can directly access Strachey’s The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud through the Books tab on the left side of the PEP-Web screen.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Hershey, D.W. (1989). On a Type of Heterosexuality, and the Fluidity of Object Relations. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 37:147-171.

(1989). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 37:147-171

On a Type of Heterosexuality, and the Fluidity of Object Relations

David W. Hershey, M.D.


This paper delineates a form of heterosexuality whose underlying psychological structure resembles that of perversions. It is characterized by: idealization of instinctual processes, whereby the ego subordinates the object to the actualization of the instinctual event itself; heightened narcissism in an otherwise neurotic ego organization; multiple intrapsychic uses of the object; a special kind of defensive organization; an experienced victory over the superego and associated elevation of certain aspects of the ego ideal; and a resultant alteration in the nature of close interpersonal relationships.

I use clinical vignettes from both male and female patients in psychoanalysis to focus on the phenomena in question. The thinking of Chassequet-Smirgel, Freud, Khan, Rangell, Socarides, and others is used in an attempt to gain an encompassing perspective. It is emphasized that patients demonstrating this form of heterosexuality do not possess a perversion per se, but demonstrate a character neurosis which integrates certain perverse mechanisms into its defensive organization. These mechanisms can be isolated and studied in psychoanalytic treatment, with the potential for illuminating their defensive and mood-regulating functions, and eventual working through and resolution of the intrapsychic conflicts underlying them. Some comments on the implications of this form of sexuality for our contemporary culture are included.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2020, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.