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Hoffman, L. (1999). Passions in Girls and Women: Toward a Bridge Between Critical Relational Theory of Gender and Modern Conflict Theory. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 47(4):1145-1168.

(1999). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 47(4):1145-1168

Passions in Girls and Women: Toward a Bridge Between Critical Relational Theory of Gender and Modern Conflict Theory

Leon Hoffman

This paper considers (1) some aspects of the lack of dialogue among psychoanalytic schools; (2) Brenner's (1982) conception of drives and drive derivatives as inextricably linked to relationships, and some of its less-appreciated implications; (3) the debate over the importance of childhood sexuality in mental life; (4) the attempts by relational theorists to address and reintegrate the role of sexuality and gender, particularly in the study of feminine psychology; (5) the problematic role of aggression in psychoanalytic theories of women; (6) the avoidance by both men and women of women's passions and their anatomical loci, especially the clitoris, whose only function is the provision of pleasure; and (7) the suggestion that an integrated theory, including an understanding of the role of the body as well as of the passions and the defenses against them, results in the most effective clinical psychoanalytic approach. It then suggests that a bridge could be built between a relational point of view that takes into consideration the role of bodily experiences, and a classical point of view in which drive is seen as inextricably linked to relationships from birth on.

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