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Grotstein, J.S. (1998). Discussion: Esther Sánchez-Pardo. Gender and Psychoanalysis, 3(1):81-93.

(1998). Gender and Psychoanalysis, 3(1):81-93

Discussion: Esther Sánchez-Pardo Related Papers

James S. Grotstein, M.D.


This paper is one of the first, if not the first, contributions I know of that deals specifically with male homosexuality from the Kleinian perspective. At the present time psychoanalysts, especially in this country, seem to be divided as to whether homosexuality constitutes another “legitimate” life-style, whether it is a perversion, or whether its origins lie in that indeterminate area of inborn givens, especially when considering gender identity even more than object choice. The classical notion of the origin of male homosexuality is one in which a “traumatic fixation” putatively occurred in the young boy's negative oedipal phase, one in which he forsakes mother as a libidinal object choice because of castration anxiety (at the hands of father) and takes father as an object choice instead. In so doing, he becomes a rival with mother for father's love. Both a significant disappointment in the boy's earlier relationship tomother and an inordinate fear of father have been suggested as antecedents of importance in terms of causing a traumatic fixation to her so that the boy remains fixed in the “feminine attitude.” An alternative aspect of this fixation would be the little boy's unconscious desire secretly to identify with his father's penis so that he may have an oedipal advantage in acquiring mother's love.


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