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Scharfman, M.A. Vogel, S.A. (1989). Current Concepts of the Development of Sexuality. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 37:787-802.

(1989). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 37:787-802

Current Concepts of the Development of Sexuality

Melvin A. Scharfman, M.D. and Sara A. Vogel, M.D.

SCHARFMAN INTRODUCED THE PANEL with the statement that its task would be to discuss the vicissitudes of sexuality in relation to the developmental processes of early childhood, emphasizing normal development as well as deviations.

Noting that persisting doubts about concepts of sexuality in early childhood could be further resolved through an understanding of sexual development which systematically integrates historical views and new speculations and observations, Scharfman reminded the panelists that Freud, in his "Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality," first connected childhood and sexuality and clearly elaborated the idea that sexuality was not limited to genitality and was only secondarily at the service of procreation. Freud viewed sexual aberrations as persistences into later life of earlier stages in sexual development, which occurred either because of hereditary and constitutional factors or due to the vicissitudes of early object relations. Scharfman stated that Friedman would discuss the former, while Galenson would discuss the latter.

Scharfman pointed out that two of the panelists, Stoller and Tyson, use the term "gender identity" in the titles of their presentations—a recent notion, but one which owes its derivation to the study of issues of identity formation which followed upon Freud's earlier formulations of ego psychology.


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