Social Sciences

Start Your Free Trial

1. What are some alternatives to Freud’s focus on childhood sexuality that might also explain adult psychological difficulties? 2. Freud’s view was that normal sexual behavior in adults could...

1. What are some alternatives to Freud’s focus on childhood sexuality that might also explain adult psychological difficulties?

2. Freud’s view was that normal sexual behavior in adults could develop only if many aspects of the child’s “polymorphously perverse” sexual predispositions were repressed. How else could the development of healthy adult sexuality be explained, with alternative theoretical perspectives?

3. How might Freud’s focus on a central role for sexuality be related to the sexually repressed culture of his time and place? Does the approach seem to fit as well when applied to environments that are less prudish than Vienna at the turn of the twentieth century?

Expert Answers info

Betty Wells eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2018

write43 answers

starTop subjects are History, Literature, and Arts

In order to discuss sexuality in terms of “adult psychological difficulties” and “healthy adult sexuality,” it is important to take a cultural and cross-cultural perspective. What is normal and healthy in one society, one class, or one segment of a society is not seen as such in other societies or in all segments of a society.

For example, in Freud’s fin de siecle Vienna, the upper classes had different norms and expectations for men and women. Men were expected to choose wives based on how that wife could help them financially and socially and were free (and expected) to express their sexuality via sexual exploits and affairs with women of varying social classes. Upper-class women, however, were expected to be chaste and not enjoy sexual activity. This suppression of their sexuality, or the guilt they felt if they expressed their sexuality, often resulted in the many neuroses that Freud and his colleagues cited.

Sexuality in other cultures, classes, and time periods have very...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 946 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

cmbontrager eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2018

write10 answers

starTop subjects are Social Sciences, History, and Business

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

hmassman eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write149 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial