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Gaulocher, A. (1959). Meetings of the New York Psychoanalytic Society. Psychoanal Q., 28:439-441.

(1959). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 28:439-441

Meetings of the New York Psychoanalytic Society

Archibald Gaulocher

DISCUSSION: Dr. Robert Bak thought that the paper was an attempt to understand pathological phenomena purely on the basis of sexuality without really applying the dual instinct theory. Sado-masochism thus becomes the core of the Oedipal constellation and phallic phase. Safeguarding of the object does not seem to play a role in this formulation. Much depends on definition and classification of phenomena. Thus if sadism and masochism are classified as belonging purely to the sexual drive, many aspects of the problem are eliminated.

Dr. Rudolph Loewenstein noted that the pathogenic role of aggression is much wider and not always due exclusively to its connection with sadism and masochism, citing as an example symptoms based on a reaction-formation against aggression, or neuroses based essentially on the fear of the death of a loved person. This does not mean that sado-masochistic fantasies are absent in such cases, but they do not explain the whole of the conflict between aggression and libido, connected with sado-masochism or independent of it. The nuclear significance of parricide and incest does not essentially reside in the pregenital, sado-masochistic wishes which may color these fantasies at times. The concept of fusion and defusion in connection with the dual drive theory is important, and sexuality and aggression are both present simultaneously in various forms and in various connections with one another. In some cases of sexual murder the act of killing is propelled by the sexual drive. On the other hand, some manifestations of sexuality are propelled by aggression, e.g., when sexual intercourse results from a wish to possess, to humiliate or deprive another person. Is it not always true that by tracing back certain aggressions, genetically, one will find sado-masochism? One may find aggression which is not yet sexualized, representing a preoedipal stage in its maturational development. If one considers sadism and masochism as elementary entities without connections with aggression, one would be led to describe masochistic tendencies in a man as feminine and sadistic tendencies in a woman as masculine, and all the intricacies of early development would be lost.

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