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Gediman, H.K. (2005). Premodern, Modern, and Postmodern Perspectives on Sex and Gender Mixes. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 53(4):1059-1078.

(2005). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 53(4):1059-1078

Premodern, Modern, and Postmodern Perspectives on Sex and Gender Mixes

Helen K. Gediman

Postmodern sensibilities, generally associated with relational psychoanalysis, are applicable also in traditional and contemporary Freudian psychoanalytic contexts. Historically speaking, views of femininity and female sexuality may be ordered according to positions designated as premodern, modern, and postmodern. This temporal continuum provides a basis for incorporating aspects of postmodern feminist approaches to deconstructing gender into a more traditional yet contemporary psychoanalytic framework. The postmodern “crisis of category” is addressed through a critique from a modern psychoanalytic point of view of the gender stereotyping inherent in certain false binaries and either/or thinking of premodern psychoanalytic thinking regarding female (as well as male) sex and gender. The cultural changes brought about by the consciousness-raising of postmodern feminist and contemporary psychoanalytic thinking contribute significantly to evolutionary changes in the understanding of gender that are further internalized and represented intrapsychically. That is, sequential transformations in the internalization of new cultural norms influence the development of still more new cultural norms, so that progression in these identificatory markers of gender can be observed over successive generations.

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