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  • Topic: Sigmund Freud on Homosexuality

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    • July 5, 2014 3:24:03 PM PDT
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      Sigmund Freud on Homosexuality

      I was reading this introductory-overview book on Freudian Psychoanalysis ("Basic Freud" by Michael Kahn) and I came across this passage, a quote from one of Freud's letters, I liked (as in thought it was heart-warming and what not) and decided to share it. The author didn't actually provide a source, just a casual reference about a famous letter from 1935; but, apparently there's a separate Wikipedia page just on this topic.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sigmund_Freud's_views_on_homosexuality

      The first paragraph was excerpted from the book and then the Wiki page had some more of the letter.

      A woman (mother) wrote to Freud inquiring if her son could be treated for/"cured" of his homosexuality. Freud's alleged reply:
      "I gather from your letter that your son is a homosexual. I am most impressed by the fact that you do not mention this term yourself in your information about him. May I question you why you avoid it? Homosexuality is assuredly no advantage, but it is nothing to be ashamed of, no vice, no degradation; it cannot be classified as an illness; we consider it to be a variation of the sexual function, produced by a certain arrest of sexual development. Many highly respectable individuals of ancient and modern times have been homosexuals, several of the greatest men among them. (Plato, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, etc). It is a great injustice to persecute homosexuality as a crime – and a cruelty, too. If you do not believe me, read the books of Havelock Ellis.

      By asking me if I can help [your son], you mean, I suppose, if I can abolish homosexuality and make normal heterosexuality take its place. The answer is, in a general way we cannot promise to achieve it. In a certain number of cases we succeed in developing the blighted germs of heterosexual tendencies, which are present in every homosexual; in the majority of cases it is no more possible. It is a question of the quality and the age of the individual. The result of treatment cannot be predicted.

      What analysis can do for your son runs in a different line. If he is unhappy, neurotic, torn by conflicts, inhibited in his social life, analysis may bring him harmony, peace of mind, full efficiency, whether he remains homosexual or gets changed."

      Also on a related but random note - to anyone so inclined - if you search "lewes 1988, freud" on Amazon you seem to get results for books that are on the topics of homosexuality and psychology and/or therapy.

    • October 25, 2014 8:10:07 PM PDT
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      Sigmund Freud on Homosexuality

      I found that to be an insightful & engaging quote.
      Thank you for sharing.

    • December 2, 2015 11:57:46 PM PST
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      Sigmund Freud on Homosexuality

      That was great! I like that quote.

    • June 22, 2018 11:03:46 PM PDT
    • Sigmund Freud on Homosexuality

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