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Nagera, H. (1964). Autoerotism, Autoerotic Activities, and Ego Development. Psychoanal. St. Child, 19:240-255.

(1964). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 19:240-255

Autoerotism, Autoerotic Activities, and Ego Development

Humberto Nagera, M.D.


Each one of the stages in the development of the ego and the self makes some contribution to the nature of the autoerotic phenomena, and they in turn play an important role in the development of the ego and self.

In the evaluation of autoerotic phenomena careful consideration should be given to the contribution of these different levels of integration and complexity and to the use made of them, first by the organism (biological being) and afterward by the ego (at the stage of the psychological being).

Though an autoerotic type of gratification can be forced into the ego in certain situations of conflict or frustration at any time in life, it is also possible that in other cases the ego makes use of this type of phenomena for very constructive purposes. One is reminded here of persons who seem to be better able to concentrate, study, or work when at the same time they engage themselves in some kind of autoerotic

activity like curling of the hair, sucking their tongues, handling of the penis, etc.

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