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Friedman, R.C. Downey, J. (1993). Psychoanalysis, Psychobiology, and Homosexuality. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 41:1159-1198.

(1993). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 41:1159-1198

Psychoanalysis, Psychobiology, and Homosexuality

Richard C. Friedman, M.D. and Jennifer Downey, M.D.

ABSTRACT

The potential role of biological influences in human sexual orientation was considered more seriously during the early phases of psychoanalysis than in the years since World War II.

Recently studies of homosexuality and heterosexuality in the neurosciences have attracted widespread attention both in the scientific and lay communities. The salience of these new data for psychoanalytic theory and practice is just beginning to be explored.

In this article, we review research on sexual orientation in the following areas: genetics, crosscultural studies, studies of development in individuals with abnormal prenatal hormone exposure, childhood play patterns, and brain studies in both nonhumans and humans. Differences between male and female homosexuality are explored.

We propose that psychoanalytic theory can grow and profit from a careful consideration of new findings in the psychobiology of sexuality, and that the interaction between mind and body is the appropriate purview of psychoanalysis.

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