Robert J. Stoller, M.D. is a psychoanalyst and Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California at Los Angeles School of Medicine, where he teaches medical students and psychiatric residents. He is a member of the American Psychoanalytic Association and received his psychoanalytical training at the Los Angeles Psychoanalytic Institute. Professor Stoller is the author of numerous papers on the development of gender identity. He has previously published three books on the subject, Sex and Gender: On the Development of Masculinity and Femininity, Splitting, and Sex and Gender Volume II: The Transsexual Experiment. In addition to his research in gender identity, Professor Stoller has a continuing interest and involvement in research and medical education.
Perversionby Robert J. Stoller
This new study, part of Professor Robert Stoller’s well-known, continuing work on sex and gender identity, is especially concerned with the psychological forces that contribute to sexual excitement in men and women. The author looks at sexual aberrations in order to learn what they can tell us about the dynamics of “normal” sexual development. He… See more details below
This new study, part of Professor Robert Stoller’s well-known, continuing work on sex and gender identity, is especially concerned with the psychological forces that contribute to sexual excitement in men and women. The author looks at sexual aberrations in order to learn what they can tell us about the dynamics of “normal” sexual development. He shows that perversions are different from other aberrations in that the dominant force in perversion is hostility directed in reality or in fantasy toward one’s sex objects. And he shows through fascinating examples and case material how childhood frustrations, traumas, and conflicts are gradually transformed into sexual excitement by means of fantasies. In a daydream, pornography, or a ritualized pattern of sex practice, a scenario is created in which are hidden remnants of the earlier painful experiences, now redone to make a triumph out of the trauma: the victim becomes the victor.
It has been noted that men practice a wider variety of perversions than women. Professor Stoller suggests that men’s greater propensity to perversion in our society is related to the mother-daughter infant symbiosis—an intimate merging in which the infant does not distinguish its own boundaries as separate from its mother’s. If that intimacy is too intense or too prolonged, the infant boy’s sense of oneness with femaleness and femininity persists into the later months when masculinity begins to develop. A flawed sense of maleness can then result, thereafter threatening the development and expression of a stable masculinity. In contrast, should a comparable intense symbiosis develop between a mother and her infant daughter, the sense of merging with mother will only augment the girl’s future femininity, although it may result in other kinds of complications.
- Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
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- Random House
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