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Grossman, W.I. (1976). Discussion of 'Freud and Female Sexuality'. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 57:301-305.

(1976). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 57:301-305

Discussion of 'Freud and Female Sexuality'

William I. Grossman

The lively current re-examination of female sexuality suggests many new perspectives and starting points. In considering how I might add something to the comprehensive contributions of Chasseguet-Smirgel (this issue) and Moore (this issue), a number of possibilities occurred to me in the form of titles or headlines. For instance, 'Sexuality is our Mythology', on the way children and scientists create myths about sex and why this is inevitable since myth, fantasy and science are ways of constructing meaningful reality. Or, another title: 'Are there Psychical Consequences to the Anatomical Distinction Between the Sexes?' Its corollary would be 'Why Anatomy is Usually Destiny' since psychosexual development means giving some meaning to the observed anatomical differences. This would suggest still another title, something like 'What Kind of Destiny Is Anatomy?' since in the long run this is a question that both children and scientists must answer. Of course, all of these themes deal with the nature and basis of sexual knowledge, which might be called an epistemological problem, but one that is double-edged. That is, they deal with the exquisitely psychoanalytic problem of how the child's problem of discovering and understanding the anatomical distinction between the sexes becomes the analyst's problem of understanding the psychical situation involved in it. A child tries to make sense out of a world that he or she experiences. These efforts, fantasy creations and play, are the child's theories, in the same sense as Freud compared Schreber's delusions to his own libido theory.

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