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Rosenfeld, H. (1949). Remarks on the Relation of Male Homosexuality to Paranoia, Paranoid Anxiety and Narcissism. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 30:36-47.

(1949). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 30:36-47

Remarks on the Relation of Male Homosexuality to Paranoia, Paranoid Anxiety and Narcissism

Herbert Rosenfeld


The purpose of this paper has been to demonstrate:

a. The development of the psycho-analytical theory of paranoia in relation to homosexuality. There are several authors who suggest a primary paranoid stage of development, namely Maeder, Roheim, Pfeiffer, and particularly Klein, who described in detail the paranoid position in earliest infancy. Increased paranoid anxieties encourage the development of strong manifest or latent homosexual tendencies as a defence.

b. A manifest homosexual and later a latent homosexual patient are described, who both developed a paranoia when the defensive function of the homosexuality failed. The homosexuality is related to the idealization of

the good father figure, who is used to deny the existence of the persecutor. Or the homosexuality may be used by the manic defence system.

c. A case is brought forward to demonstrate that, even in manifest homosexuality of a non-psychotic type, severe hidden paranoid anxieties are frequently found.

d. The importance of projective processes in homosexuals is described. A narcissistic type of homosexuality is described where another man, through projection, becomes identified with the self.

e. The origin of the mechanism of projective identification is traced to its root, namely to the earliest infantile impulses of forcing the self into the mother. It is suggested and demonstrated that the fixation on this early level, which has been named by Melanie Klein the paranoid position, may be responsible for the frequent combination of both paranoia and homosexuality.

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