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Article:Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality
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Freud's book covered three main areas: sexual [[perversion]]s; childhood sexuality; and puberty.<ref>J-M Quinodoz, ''Reading Freud'' (2005) p. 58.</ref>
Freud's book covered three main areas: sexual [[perversion]]s; childhood sexuality; and puberty.<ref>J-M Quinodoz, ''Reading Freud'' (2005) p. 58.</ref>
===Sexual aberrations===
Freud began his first essay, on "The Sexual Aberrations", by distinguishing between the ''sexual object'' and the ''sexual aim'' — noting that deviations from the norm could occur with respect to both.<ref>Sigmund Freud, ''On Sexuality'' (PFL 7) p. 45–46.</ref> The ''sexual object'' is therein defined as a desired object, and the ''sexual aim'' as what acts are desired with said object.
Discussing the choice of children and animals as sex objects — [[pedophilia]] and [[bestiality]] — he notes that most people would prefer to limit these perversions to the insane "on aesthetic grounds" but that they exist in normal people also. He also explores deviations of sexual aims, as in the tendency to linger over preparatory sexual aspects such as looking and touching.<ref>Quinodoz, p. 59.</ref>
Turning to neurotics, Freud emphasised that “in them tendencies to every kind of perversion can be shown to exist as unconscious forces...neurosis is, as it were, the negative of perversion”.<ref>Freud, ''On Sexuality'' p. 155</ref> Freud also makes the point that people who are behaviorally abnormal are always sexually abnormal in his experience but that many people who are normal behaviorally otherwise are sexually abnormal also.<ref>''The Basic Writings of Sigmund Freud'', pp. 562–563. Random House 1938.</ref>
Freud concluded that “a disposition to perversions is an original and universal disposition of the human sexual instinct and that...this postulated constitution, containing the germs of all the perversions, will only be demonstrable in ''children''“.<ref>Freud, ''On Sexuality'' p. 155 and p. 87.</ref>
===Infantile Sexuality===
His second essay, on "Infantile Sexuality", argues that children have sexual urges, from which adult sexuality only gradually emerges via [[psychosexual development]].<ref>Ernest Jones: ''The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud'' (Penguin 1961) p. 315.</ref>
Looking at children, Freud identified many forms of infantile sexual emotions, including [[thumb sucking]], autoeroticism, and [[sibling rivalry]].<ref>Gay, p. 147.</ref>
In his third essay, "The Transformations of Puberty" Freud formalised the distinction between the 'fore-pleasures' of infantile sexuality and the 'end-pleasure' of sexual intercourse.<ref>Freud, ''On Sexuality'' p. 131.</ref>
He also demonstrated how the adolescent years consolidate sexual identity under the dominance of the genitals.<ref>Gay, p. 148.</ref>
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