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Serebriany, R. (1976). Dialogue on 'Freud and Female Sexuality'. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 57:311-313.

(1976). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 57:311-313

Dialogue on 'Freud and Female Sexuality'

Reggy Serebriany

The papers presented by Janine Chasseguet-Smirgel (this issue) and Burness Moore (this issue), as well as the discussions by Tufik Meluk (this issue) and William I. Grossman (this issue), aroused lively interest and stimulated many enriching interventions. As the Chairman of the Dialogue, Emilio Servadio, pointed out in his closing speech, the subject of female sexuality is by no means exhausted but the dialogue helped to stress the need to revise Freud's postulates on this subject, and a most appropriate way of bringing these up to date is by means of the discussion of theoretical, clinical and technical considerations.

Furthermore, the various contributions sprang from different frameworks of psychoanalytic thinking, which in turn widened the scope of the interchange. As one of the participants aptly remarked, dissimilar theoretical frameworks necessarily lead to different statements on this particular issue. The main divergences centred on the following: (1) those who base their work on the theory of two instincts (life and death instincts) and those who are ready to accept the existence of libidinal and aggressive drives only; (2) those who consider the symbolic function to develop within the first three years of life and those who regard it as an inborn function; (3) those who consider anxiety to be the outcome of a conflict within the inner world and those who consider it the result of deprivation in the outer world and of difficulties in the process of separation-individuation; (4) those who lay stress on biological factors and those who consider the psychological aspect most important and likely to weigh even with biological processes.

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