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Rev Med Chil. 2014 Jan;142(1):84-9. doi: 10.4067/S0034-98872014000100013.

[The infantile sexual seduction: revolution and aftermath of Freud's theory].

[Article in Spanish]


There is no question about the negative effects of child sexual abuse. Freud's seduction theory asserts that psychoneuroses in adults are caused by reactivation of forgotten recollections of gross sexual abuse (involving the genitals) that had taken place prior to the age of 8 to 10 years. His contribution consisted in the discovery of specific events, prior to puberty, which were indispensable to the formation of psychoneuroses. If an adult patient recalled an infantile sexual experience, Freud assumed the interference of a pervert: a child was sexually innocent unless it had been traumatized. But Freud's technique of clinical exploration had not attained adequate reliability and was not immune to prejudices. Freud himself dropped his mechanical, static theory that presupposed a single type of accidentally occurring trauma prior to puberty, allowing him to develop his new drive and fantasy theory.

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