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J Homosex. 1994;27(3-4):309-27.

Fixation and regression in the psychoanalytic theory of homosexuality--a critical evaluation.


This essay evaluates the notions of fixation and regression in the psychoanalytic theoretical conceptualization of homosexuality. Charles Socarides has had a central role in formulating the most prominent and influential psychoanalytic metapsychological understanding of homosexuality in recent years and for that reason this essay focuses principally on him. The concepts of fixation and regression are central to his understanding and I argue that the evolution of these concepts in contemporary usage renders them irrelevant to formulating the current psychoanalytic understanding of homosexuality and that their continued use by analysts reflects a negative attitude toward homosexual behavior on the part of Socarides and many other analysts that stems from an extremely narrow and idealized conception of human development.

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