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Poupart, F. (2016). Roots and Vicissitudes of Psychic Bisexuality. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 97(3):709-736.

(2016). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 97(3):709-736

Roots and Vicissitudes of Psychic Bisexuality

Florent Poupart

(Accepted for publication 17 May 2016)

Sigmund Freud considered the difficulty in defining masculinity and femininity from a psychic point of view as a hiatus in psychoanalytic theory. I contend that masculinity pertains to the centrifugal (to that which goes out, and ultimately to that which one loses), and femininity to the centripetal (to the appetency for taking the object into one's own internal space), whether one is considering their archaic roots or their genitalized culmination. The masculine/feminine pair draws support from the body (and, through anaclisis, from the subjective space), identified with a container that is liable already in the first psychic stages of life to empty itself of its own content and to be filled by a foreign content: the content is subjective in the masculine and object-related in the feminine. The conflicts of ambivalence related to these two movements (desire/anxieties linked to active and passive penetration) lead to the setting up of the rigid and labile poles of the personality, and they are liable to give rise to obsessional and hysterical solutions respectively. My hypotheses will be examined in the light of the two key cases of hysteria and obsessional neurosis in Freud's work: Dora (1905e) and the Rat Man (1909d).

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