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Bychowski, G. (1945). The Ego of Homosexuals. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 26:114-127.

(1945). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 26:114-127

The Ego of Homosexuals

Gustav Bychowski

In a footnote to his Drei Abhandlungen zur Sexualtheorie(1905) Freud writes: 'In inverted types the predominance of archaic constitutions and primitive mental mechanisms may be regularly confirmed.' A more explicit formulation (1922) includes these words: 'Attachment to the mother, narcissism, fear of castration—these are the factors (which by the way have nothing specific about them) that we have hitherto found in the psychical ætiology of homosexuality.' (My italics.)

Ferenczi (1911) contended that according to his observation 'object' and 'subject' homosexuals differ in the characteristics of their ego. Only the ego of the 'subject' homosexual shows features of passivity—that is, of femininity—, the ego of the 'object' homosexual is, says Ferenczi, perfectly normal.

Ferenczi's statement, however, was opposed as far back as 1913 by Jekels. In his opinion 'active homosexuality is only seemingly active; in fact it is passive, so that there is no other homosexuality at all but the passive kind. … Every inversion is a drive with a passive aim.' Jekels regards the determining factor as anal erotism, which, in his opinion, sets the pattern for the passivity of the libido.

Brill (1913) confirmed Freud's basic findings on homosexuality: 'In other words, ' he says, 'the road to homosexuality always passes over narcissism, that is, love for one's self.'

It may be noted that in modern psycho-analytical literature we find surprisingly little on this topic.

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