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(1960). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. V, 1957: A Contribution to the Psychoanalytic Theory of Masochism. Rudolph M. Loewenstein. Pp. 197-234.. Psychoanal Q., 29:280.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. V, 1957: A Contribution to the Psychoanalytic Theory of Masochism. Rudolph M. Loewenstein. Pp. 197-234.

(1960). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 29:280

Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. V, 1957: A Contribution to the Psychoanalytic Theory of Masochism. Rudolph M. Loewenstein. Pp. 197-234.

In further refining and defining the behavior of the perverse masochist and the moral masochist the author discusses some of the necessary, if not sufficient, psychological and developmental conditions for their inception. In the case of the perverse masochist some of these necessary conditions are passivity and the wish to be cared for and to be helpless, experienced as humiliation; the humiliation in turn is enjoyed as the active anticipation of that which is feared as possibly occurring passively. The masochistic pervert during his masochistic behavior is never physically in danger and his partner participates in the experience which has qualities of play or make-believe. The transaction can be traced back to analogous childhood situations in which the parent of the opposite sex was induced to participate in an erotic game or fantasy with the child, but rebuffed or disapproved of these either by actual or imagined ridicule, threat, or punishment. Later this scene is re-enacted in suffering and actual physical insult which is, as already mentioned, never life-endangering. Thus the partner 'annuls' or undoes the threat.

In regard to the superego the perverse masochist is never self-destructive or self-mutilating. The person who mutilates himself does so at the behest of a sadistic superego which makes him closer to a moral than to a perverse masochist. In both kinds of masochist another necessary condition is the early development of a behavior which the author calls 'the seduction of the aggressor', that is, behavior which initially incites scolding, disapproval, or fear. As soon as these occur the child seeks by his behavior to change the parent's attitude to loving behavior. The role of aggression and the role of guilt feelings in the masochist are further discussed, and developmental situations are described in which aggression is turned upon the self for fear of object loss.

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Article Citation

(1960). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. V, 1957. Psychoanal. Q., 29:280

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