Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To see the German word that Freud used to refer to a concept…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

Want to know the exact German word that Freud used to refer to a psychoanalytic concept? Move your mouse over a paragraph while reading The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud and a window will emerge displaying the text in its original German version.

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

Dimen, M. (2014). Both Given and Made: Commentary on Saketopoulou. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 62(5):807-813.

(2014). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 62(5):807-813

Both Given and Made: Commentary on Saketopoulou Related Papers

Muriel Dimen

Once upon a time, sex and gender were a team. Gender aligned with natal sex, and both aligned with desire (heterosexual, to be sure): male genitalia rendered you masculine and desirous of women; female genitalia made you feminine and inclined you toward men. Nowadays everything is up for grabs. No longer do genitals and gender predict desire: same-sex and same-gender love, like changes in desire across lifetimes, are deemed normal. Our grasp of the shifting relations among the categories once grouped under the rubric of “psychosexuality” is much more nuanced. Consider Saketopoulou's subtle assessment of her patient's possible futures: “Jenny might be a transgender girl rather than a proto-gay boy” (p. 788).

It was Freud (1905), of course, who first opened this Pandora's box. As he contended, drive, aim, and object are linked only loosely. Now, however, the sexual stays are loosed even further. We are challenged to consider that, since genitalia and gender identity are themselves but soldered together, any mismatch between them could cause sufficient psychic pain that surgical interventions might be just what the patient, and therefore the doctor, ordered. I won't opine on what Freud would have said about sexual reassignment or gender confirmation surgery, although at the close of “Psychogenesis of a Case of Homosexuality in a Woman” (1920, p. 172) he does wonder about it, albeit more to control his enigmatic and frustrating patient and less to serve her desire (Harris 1991).

That gender dysphoria may now be assuaged by surgical modification obliges psychoanalysis to reconstrue the body.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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.