Anatomy of Masochism by June Rathbone (auth.)

By June Rathbone (auth.)

Are dominance and submission inevitable in human relationships? Believing that sadomasochism is turning into an ever extra glaring phenomenon in built international locations, the writer surveyed forty eight self-declared sadomasochists (43 male, five girl) and 35 controls (26 male, nine woman) so one can elicit info on early relatives relationships, morale, and sexual habit and fable; she additionally seems to be on the philosophy of masochism and its destructive effects.

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Deutsch opines that the Oedipus complex in girls is, in fact, inaugurated by the castration complex (d. Freud, 1925, p. 256; 1931, p. 230; 1933, p. 194), which persists because it contains not only the masculinity complex but also "the whole infantile set towards femininity" (p. 53). Subsequently the woman's attitude towards reproduction and towards her child is "permeated by pleasure-tendencies of a masochistic nature" (p. 53). In A Child is Being Beaten' Freud wrote of the repression of an erotic phantasy but Deutsch speaks in more than one connection of the repression of masochistic instinctual tendencies and the danger attending this repression.

In Freud's (1905) exploration of infantile sexuality, masochism signified sexual excitement associated with pain, a normal developmental capacity which might endure and become extreme as an ultimate perversion. (Maleson's use (p. ) In 1919, Freud broadened its application to characterological behavior derived from an oedipal beating fantasy, with hypersensitivity towards father figures. He changed his position in 1924 when he created a conceptual unity of primary or erotogenic masochism, feminine masochism and moral masochism.

Feminists have fallen on it like furies (Mitchell, 1974; Mitchell & Rose, 1982; Cixous, 1976; Dinnerstein, 1977; Chodorow, 1978; Gallop, 1982; for thoughtful overviews of feminist attitudes and reactions, see YoungBruehl, 1990, and Frosh, 1987, pp. 52-58, 174-207; see also the following section of this chapter discussing 'Developments and critical commentaries on Freud'). Freud's transgression was, of course, to equate femininity with passivity. He did so reluctantly, and with subsequent reservations ("we far too readily identify activity with maleness and passivity with femaleness, a view which is by no means universally confirmed in the animal kingdom" (Freud, 1930, p.

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