Footnote 4 Theories of Sexuality (p.129)


Anna Freud, in The Psychoanalysis of the Child, indicates as the most generalized form of neurosis that of the individual who, in trying to gain complete control of his prohibited sexual desires, and in trying even to eliminate them instead of classifying them as socially inconvenient, but nevertheless natural enough - represses himself too far and becomes incapable of enjoying uninhibited relations under any circumstances. Thus an individual may lose control of his auto-repressive faculties and reach such extremes as impotence, frigidity, or obsessive guilt feelings. Psychoanalysis also indicates the following paradox: it is generally the precocious development of the intelligence and sensitivity of the child which can actually induce too strong a repressive activity in the same. It is a proven fact that the child possesses a libido from the very onset of life, and it is equally clear that he manifests it without the discrimination of an adult. He becomes fond of any person who may take care of him and takes pleasure in games with his own body and with the body of any other persons. But in our own culture Anna Freud adds - these manifestations are promptly chastised, and the child acquires a sense of shame. From his first conscious acts until puberty sets in, the child passes through a period of latency.


In Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality, Sigmund Freud asserts that the incestuous fantasy of expelling the rival progenitor - which is to say the father for the boy, and the mother for the girl-and substituting oneself for the same is a recurrent fantasy among children, but such ideas tend to arouse intense feelings of guilt and fear of punishment. . The consequence is that the boy or the girl suffers so greatly from the conflict that by means of a very painful but unconscious effort they manage to repress it, or to disguise it in the eyes of their consciousness. The conflict is resolved during adolescence, when the adolescent manages to transfer the emotional burden of the respective progenitor onto a boy or a girl of an appropriate age. But those who have developed a very close relationship with the progenitor of the opposite sex - and the correspondingly unavoidable feelings of guilt - will find themselves in danger of continuing with those sensations of discomfort for the rest of their lives in the face of any sexual experience, inasmuch as unconsciously they will associate it with one of those guilty incestuous desires from back in infancy. The outcome, once the neurosis takes hold, is not always the same: for man it pens up the possibilities of impotence, or of exclusively depending on upon prostitutes women who in some way fail to represent the mother or even more likely, the possibility of only being able to respond sexually to other men. For women the outcome of the unresolved conflict is primarily frigidity or lesbianism.