The last half-century has seen enormous changes in society’s attitude toward sexuality. In the 1950s, homosexuals in the United States were routinely arrested; today, homosexual activity between consenting adults is legal in every state, with same-sex marriage legal in Massachusetts and Connecticut. In the 1950s, ambitious women were often seen as psychopathological and were told by psychoanalysts that they had penis envy that needed treatment; today, a woman has campaigned for President of the United States.
Mark Blechner has lived and worked through these startling changes in society, and Sex Changes collects papers he has written over the last 45 years on sex, gender, and sexuality. Interspersed with these papers are reflections on the changes that have occurred during that time period, both within the scope of society at large as well as in his personal experiences inside and outside of the therapeutic setting. He shows how changes in society, changes in his life, and changes in his writing on sexuality - as well as changes within psychoanalysis itself - have affected one another.
One hundred years ago, psychoanalysis was at the cutting edge of new ideas about sex and gender, but in the latter half of the 20th Century, psychoanalysts were often seen as reactionary upholders of society’s prejudices. Sex Changes seeks to restore the place of psychoanalysis as the "once and future queer science," and aims for a radical shift in psychoanalytic thinking about sexuality, gender, normalcy, prejudice, and the relationship of therapeutic aims and values.
About the Author
Mark J. Blechner, Ph.D., is a psychologist and psychoanalyst in New York City. Along with 50 articles and book chapters, he has published three books - Hope and Mortality (Analytic Press, 1997), The Dream Frontier (Analytic Press, 2001), and Sex Changes: Transformations in Society and Psychoanalysis (Routledge, 2009) - and is the editor-in-chief of the journal Contemporary Psychoanalysis. He is a training and supervising psychoanalyst at William Alanson White Institute, where as founder and director of its HIV Clinical Service from 1991 until 2001, he led the first psychoanalytic clinic devoted to working with people with AIDS, their relatives, and caregivers. He has taught at Columbia University, Yale University, and New York University.
Table of Contents
Section I Psychoanalysis, Sexuality, and Prejudice
1 Homosexuality and the Rorschach Test 3
2 Psychoanalysis In and Out of the Closet 7
3 The Experience of Hating and Being Hated 31
4 Homophobia in Psychoanalytic Writing and Practice: A Comment on Trop and Stolorow (1992) and Hanna (1992) 37
5 The Interaction of Societal Prejudice with Psychodiagnosis and Treatment Aims 47
6 The Closeting of History 57
7 Selective Inattention and Bigotry: A Discussion of the Film Trembling before G-d 63
Section II Sex, Gender, and the Good Life
8 Maleness and Masculinity 77
9 Disgust, Desire, and Fascination: Psychoanalytic, Cultural, Historical, and Neurobiological Perspectives 95
10 The Gay Harry Stack Sullivan: Interactions between His Life, Clinical Work, and Theory 105
11 AIDS 133
12 Intimacy, Pleasure, Risk, and Safety 143
13 Love, Sex, Romance, and Psychoanalytic Goals 149
14 Polymorphous without Perversity: A Queer View of Desire 157
15 Erotic and Anti-Erotic Transference 169
16 The Political Is Psychoanalytic: On Same-Sex Marriage 181