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Silva, J.G. (1975). Two Cases of Female Homosexuality—A Critical Study of Sigmund Freud and Helene Deutsch. Contemp. Psychoanal., 11:357-376.

(1975). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 11:357-376

Two Cases of Female Homosexuality—A Critical Study of Sigmund Freud and Helene Deutsch

Jorge Garcia Silva, M.D.


IN 1920 FREUD PUBLISHED A PAPER, "The Psychogenesis of a Case of Homosexuality in a Woman, " that describes "the narration of a single case, not too pronounced in type …" of female homosexuality. I quote (Freud, 1920):

A beautiful and clever girl of 18, belonging to a family of good standing, had aroused displeasure and concern in her parents by the devoted adoration with which she pursued a certain "society lady" who was about ten years older than herself. The parents asserted that, in spite of her distinguished name, this lady was nothing but a cocotte. It was well known, they said, that she lived with a friend, a married woman, and had intimate relations with her, while at the same time she carried on promiscuous affairs with a number of men. … No prohibitions and no supervision hindered the girl from seizing every one of her rare opportunities of being together with her beloved, of ascertaining all her habits, of waiting for her for hours outside her door or at a tram-halt, of sending her gifts of flowers, and so on. It was evident that this one interest had swallowed up all others in the girl's mind. She … kept up relations only with a few girl friends who could help her in the matter or serve as confidants. The parents could not say to what lengths their daughter had gone in her relations with the questionable lady, whether the limits of devoted admiration had already been exceeded or not. They had never remarked in their daughter any interest in young men, nor pleasure in their attentions, while, on the other hand, they were sure that her present attachment to a woman was only a continuation, in a more marked degree, of a feeling she had displayed of recent years for other members of her own sex which had already aroused her father's suspicion and anger.

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