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Altman, L.L. (1950). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXIX, 1948: On Genital Love. Michael Balint. Pp. 34–40.. Psychoanal Q., 19:277-277.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXIX, 1948: On Genital Love. Michael Balint. Pp. 34–40.

(1950). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 19:277-277

International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXIX, 1948: On Genital Love. Michael Balint. Pp. 34–40.

Leon L. Altman

Descriptions of genital love have been concerned heretofore more with what it is not than with what it is. Emphasis has been placed on the absence of ambivalence and pregenital object relationships rather than on the presence of certain positive qualities. Genital love, free from pregenital traits, may be examined for positive aspects, such as genital satisfaction or orgasm, idealization, tenderness and regard or consideration for the partner. Balint finds that genital satisfaction or orgasm may be completely narcissistic and exist without love. Idealization may be a hindrance to rather than a hallmark of a true love relationship. Tenderness is a quality associated with frustration, inhibited development, weakness and immaturity. Regard and consideration for the partner in love is an artifact of civilization and a perpetuation of archaic, infantile forms of love. Genital love has little to do with genital sexuality. It represents a fusion of contradictory claims, a reconciliation of pregenital and cultural needs. Fully mature genital love remains an abstraction.

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Article Citation

Altman, L.L. (1950). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXIX, 1948. Psychoanal. Q., 19:277-277

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