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Tip: To sort articles by year…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

After you perform a search, you can sort the articles by Year. This will rearrange the results of your search chronologically, displaying the earliest published articles first. This feature is useful to trace the development of a specific psychoanalytic concept through time.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Frenkel, R.S. (2000). On Homosexuality and Psychoanalysis. J. Clin. Psychoanal., 9(3):291-294.

(2000). Journal of Clinical Psychoanalysis, 9(3):291-294

On Homosexuality and Psychoanalysis

Rhoda S. Frenkel, M.D.

Mme. Chasseguet-Smirgel is, of course, correct in asserting that to allow a political or cultural agenda to dictate or preclude the course of any scientific investigation and its subsequent conclusions and resultant opinions is to totally corrupt and destroy the validity of that science. This is hardly news. What is considered conventional wisdom, common practice, or standard behavior in one society or civilization can vary within a single era or from one era to another. In 1633 Galileo was forced by the Inquisition to recant the Copernican theory that the earth revolved around the sun, despite the telescopic evidence that Galileo had amassed proving that the earth was not the center of the universe. However, controversy has always characterized the issue of homosexuality. Even in ancient Greek culture, which tolerated, but regulated homosexual practices by law, the need for regulation suggests that some underlying anxiety about homosexual practices existed, and eventually that anxiety led to their repudiation of the ritualized practice (Wilson, 1990).

One problem lies with the implications associated with the word or the concept of normal. In the dictionary sense homosexuality is not normal; it is not the accepted standard and is abnormal. It is also abnormal from a biologic perspective because it is not in the service of propagating the species. In our society abnormal usually connotes something bad, rather than just differing from the median. In this sense one can consider high intelligence or low intelligence as abnormal, yet usually high intelligence is considered to have greater value than low.

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