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Radomisli, M. (1967). The Phallic Phase and Debasement in the Sphere of Love. Psychoanal. Rev., 54C(3):5-20.

(1967). Psychoanalytic Review, 54C(3):5-20

The Phallic Phase and Debasement in the Sphere of Love

Michel Radomisli, Ph.D.

I. Introduction

In this essay, I propose to examine a type of heterosexual object split in men which differs significantly from the type first described by Freud.7 Freud's classic paper describes men who debase their sexual objects; these men are sexually inhibited with women whom they hold in esteem and whose sexuality they deny or disavow. The type of object split I shall discuss also refers to men who degrade the sexual object and who are sexually inhibited with women they esteem. However, these men do not repudiate the sexuality of the esteemed, respected woman; she is seen as sexually active, and her sexual desire and activity are quite acceptable to the man as long as he himself does not have to entertain the possibility of a sexual encounter with her. This distinction is not one of mere detail; it reflects different structural, dynamic, and genetic configurations.

Freud examined a prevalent form of sexual inhibition6 7 quite early in his psychoanalytic pioneering. He wrote that “the adult's conscious thought likes to regard his mother as a person of unimpeachable moral purity”6 and that somewhere about the years of prepuberty information regarding the parents' sexuality is often flatly rejected.

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