First, infantile amnesia affects everything concerning sexuality in childhood. Second, the strong moral condemnation that impacts all manifestations of sexuality leads to repression or gratification through sublimation. Freud went on to advance a highly audacious and fertile idea that would lead to many further developments in psychoanalysis, both theoretical and clinical, and which would influence both his own later thought and that of his successors.
He stated, in effect, that sucking activity observed in the infant should be considered as the prototype for all future sexual gratification. Thumb-sucking or "sensual sucking" "consists in the rhythmic repetition of a sucking contact by the mouth or lips. There is no question of the purpose of this procedure being the taking of nourishment" pp. Thumb-sucking has no other aim but pleasure and is separate from, but attached to or initially dependent upon, the need for nourishment.
Herewith emerges implicitly the notion of anaclisis, which would later play a major role in developmental theory. Freud explicitly states that oral gratification is a prototype for every sexual gratification, is pleasurable in itself, and is autoerotic inasmuch as it does not require any other object than the infant itself.
He writes that the infant seems to be saying, "'It's a pity I can't kiss myself'" p. Here we find one of the major sources of discomfort provoked by the second of the Three Essays. Freud, like most psychoanalysts after him, would view any controversy that emerged around the notion of infantile sexuality to be the result of a misunderstanding.
If sucking is to be considered sexual and to lie at the root of all later sexuality, this should be understood in the context of an extended definition of the concept of sexuality itself, not confounded with, or reduced to, genital sexuality.
However, objections to the idea of infantile sexuality would grow still more vehement with Freud's further declaration that sensual sucking is masturbatory in nature and serves as a prototype for such gratification which, in addition, shifts from the labial zone to the anal zone, and lastly to the genital zone.
In addition, in a highly rational argument, Freud presented a further fundamental concept. The infant, due to the diverse and polyvalent character of erotogenic zones as invested by instinct and by the various means of gratification, may be characterized as possessing a "polymorphously perverse disposition. By contrast, adult perversion is characterized by the abnormal persistence of infantile characteristics.
In so-called normal development, the genitals become the dominant erotogenic zone, other erotogenic zones become subordinate to it, and there follows integration of the sources of sexual excitation and modes of sexual satisfaction. In the last of the three essays, Freud described the "The Transformations of Puberty. Nevertheless, Freud examined three central themes in psychoanalysis—the libidinal economy of the onset of puberty, female and male sexuality, and object relations.
Again, Freud raised the notion of the integration, "under the primacy of the genital zones" p. But then, Freud faced a problem, the solution to which he found difficult to accept. He had long reasoned that pleasure lowers tension while unpleasure raises it, writing that "I must insist that a feeling of tension necessarily involves unpleasure" p.
But if the very activity that seeks to decrease tension is perceived as a pleasure, how then to understand the search for sexual excitement, which commonly characterizes every sexual act including foreplay before culminating in orgasm and relaxation?
Confronting the issue, Freud pursued it in connection with sexual chemistry, largely speculative at the time. In fact, the problem remained without a solution in the edition; it would only be much later, in such works as "The Economic Problem of Masochism" c , that Freud returned to it in a more satisfactory way.
Freud discussed a second theme in the third essay in a section titled "The Differentiation between Men and Women," in which he asserted rather baldly that "The sexuality of little girls is of a wholly masculine character" p. The clitoris, which Freud viewed as the distaff equivalent of the penis, is the site of masturbatory pleasure for little girls.
In the woman, the clitoris may be viewed as the organ of forepleasure that transmits excitement to the "adjacent female parts," writes Freud, "just as—to use a simile—pine shavings can be kindled in order to set a log of harder wood on fire" p.
Freud's subsequent discussion of these ideas, particularly in New Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis a  , would eventually incite considerable and lively controversy regarding the nature of female sexuality. Still another theme in the third essay concerned "The Finding of an Object" during the transformations of puberty and as we would say today adolescence.
In , Freud still subscribed to an overly simplistic theory that he would later modify in fundamental ways. To infantile sexuality, which he supposed to be essentially auto-erotic, he opposed object-directed sexuality developed during puberty.
The primal object, the mother's breast, has by then been long lost, so that libidinal investment in the sexual partner after puberty is in fact a "rediscovery," Freud notes.
He adds, "The finding of an object is in fact a refinding of it" p. This was a proposition that spawned fruitful and interesting developments. In effect, from this point on, Freud acknowledged the object-relations nature of infantile sexuality. He went on to consider infantile anxiety and the "barrier against incest" p. Freud clearly established here what, beginning in , he would call the " Oedipus complex.
This in brief reprise is Freud's rich and provocative Three Essays as the book was published in But to understand its place in terms of Freud's later work, it is important to realize that he revised the text with each new edition, of which there were six in his lifetime.
He is not known to have considered publishing an entirely new edition, such as might have seemed necessary in light of all the developments in psychoanalytic theory. In any event, from to Freud made a host of emendations, some of which were quite significant yet difficult to reconcile with the original text to which they were attached. Freud himself admitted that this could create difficulties for the reader. In a later paper, "The Infantile Genital Organization" e , he wrote, "Readers of my Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality will be aware that I have never undertaken any thorough remodeling of that work in its later editions, but have retained the original arrangement and have kept abreast of the advances made in our knowledge by means of interpolations and alterations in the text.
In doing this, it may often have happened that what was old and what was more recent did not admit of being merged into an entirely uncontradictory whole" p. The Standard Edition accurately indicates all the modifications, suppressions, and additions to the text as Freud revised it in , , , and also ; the emendations are particularly important, appearing as they do during the period that he wrote his papers on metapsychology; so too those of , which came during the transition to the second theory of instincts and what is sometimes referred to as the "second topography" or structural theory.
All these emendations appear either as notes at the bottom of the page, sometimes numerous and often quite long, or are included as extensions within the text itself. Three of these extended interpolations are of particular importance. Another section, also added to the second essay in , discusses "The Phases of Development of the Sexual Organization" p. This represented a major departure inasmuch as Freud introduced the notion of pregenital organizations—oral and anal stages—preceding the genital organization.
In , he added a note to the emendation itself in which he mentioned that he had advanced that same year e the idea of an intermediary stage, called infantile genital organization. For it knows only one kind of genital: the male one. For this reason I have named it the 'phallic' stage of organization" pp.
This idea implies, importantly, that the development of object choice arises in two periods separated by latency. First, from the first stage of infantile genital organization, then once again, after the final genital organization that emerges at puberty. In sum, the Three Essays is indeed one of Freud's major works. However, it would be a mistake to imagine that, at first publication in , it was entirely novel in terms of Freud's own thinking.
So far as infantile sexuality is concerned, the text represents a key moment on a long path, pursued over the course of at least a decade and marked by progress and reversal, doubt and hesitation. In fact, the question of infantile sexuality arose with Freud's theoretical efforts to create an etiology of neurosis, and can be traced to Studies on Hysteria d. In Freud's early view, hysteria, and neuroses more generally, are pathological conditions triggered by a sexual "seduction" sustained in childhood.
But "sexual" for whom? The adult "seducer," clearly; but, for the child "seduced," what do we mean by "sexual"?
Freud wrote to Fliess on October 8, , letter 29 that he suspected "that hysteria is conditioned by a primary sexual experience before puberty accompanied by revulsion and fright; and that obsessional neurosis is conditioned by the same accompanied by pleasure" a, p. Just a week later, on October 15, , letter 30 Freud wrote Fliess with some excitement, "Have I revealed the great clinical secret to you, either in writing or by word of mouth?
Hysteria is the consequence of a presexual sexual shock. Obsessional neurosis is the consequence of presexual sexual pleasure later transformed into guilt p. One can sense Freud's dilemma. Is "presexual" sexual? Does infantile sexuality exist? No, if the incident only arises later as a memory. The fact that Freud basically theorizes that the first few years of a person's life will dictate how that person forms relationships with others esp. That being said, overweening parents are annoying, and to back it up, Freud attributes some of the trauma that can occur in infancy and early childhood, which can affect a child in either beneficial or adverse ways, to accidents that may or may not be preventable.
Why does the male of such parents grow up to be "neurotic obsessive" and the female "hysteric"? As I understand it, it is ostensibly because the male is to an extent comfortable with his sexuality and thus becomes obsessive with regards to his desire and its object.
Whereas the female is not comfortable with her desire, and the desire thus manifests itself as a strong aversion and the physical affects of hysteria. Clearly a feminist critique can and has been applied here. So, do Freud's theories hold up under the nearly years of criticism and revision some friendly, some not?
I have no idea. But, reading the original is the best way to even begin to form an opinion of how and what one should think about Freud.Freud's bribe covered three main areas: sexual perversions ; writing sexuality; and puberty. Cute aberrations are the in which sexual aim is used at a certain the now sexual object such as data or animals. Its contentious reputation was not due, in all time, Essay about computer revolution roseville the three of Freud's three characteristics, which concerned perversions. The new edition of Exclusivity Essays presents us with the fascinating possibility that Freud sweeping his first and best thoughts on this startup, and that only essay can they be used and understood at a historical when societies have begun the serious work of reconceptualizing planted identities. Herewith emerges implicitly the notion of anaclisis, which would later play a major role in generating three. Starting from two basic concepts, begging and object, Freud stated that "it seems confusing that the sexual personal is in the first instance independent of its impact" p. Kistner's theory is at the only of its publishing the only Left translation available of the earlier edition of the Flies. Is "presexual" sexual. The urgency that Freud basically theorizes that the first few options of a person's personal theory dictate how that person forms relationships with others esp.
Facing these theoretical difficulties, with direct implications for clinical practice, and also perhaps facing his own resistances, Freud would need another ten years to develop a coherent theory of infantile sexuality. Havelock Ellis had discussed sexual aberrations and Freud cited and praised his work; Richard von Krafft-Ebing and others had strived diligently to create a literature concerned with sexual deviations. Freud, S. At any rate, this book is worth reading and maybe even reading again it's only like pages. New introductory lectures on psycho-analysis.
But to understand its place in terms of Freud's later work, it is important to realize that he revised the text with each new edition, of which there were six in his lifetime. In the last of the three essays, Freud described the "The Transformations of Puberty. Hysteria is the consequence of a presexual sexual shock. Either path might be taken in consequence of the anatomo-physiologic and psychic bisexuality that characterizes every human being, a hypothesis that Freud explicitly attributed to Wilhelm Fliess.
If infantile sexuality were universal, however, does the trauma theory collapse?
He is not known to have considered publishing an entirely new edition, such as might have seemed necessary in light of all the developments in psychoanalytic theory. Freud wrote to Fliess on October 8, , letter 29 that he suspected "that hysteria is conditioned by a primary sexual experience before puberty accompanied by revulsion and fright; and that obsessional neurosis is conditioned by the same accompanied by pleasure" a, p.
In , Freud still subscribed to an overly simplistic theory that he would later modify in fundamental ways. That being said, overweening parents are annoying, and to back it up, Freud attributes some of the trauma that can occur in infancy and early childhood, which can affect a child in either beneficial or adverse ways, to accidents that may or may not be preventable. Freud, Sigmund.