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29) His attitude towards his children largely reflected the conventional views of his time with respect to issues of gender. For example when his youngest daughter Anna was born he wrote to his close friend Wilhelm Fliess as follows: If it had been a son I should have sent you the news by telegram. But as it is a little girl……you get the news later. (Sayers, 1992) The children were brought up in a very conventional manner and despite the obvious interest his younger daughter Anna showed in forging a career for herself, she was not sent to schools that would have prepared her for university entrance.

As she grew older, however, she moved towards a position which ascribed less and less importance to ‘biological destiny’ and more and more importance to the role of the social environment (Horney, 1967). In this position her views on sex differences were very similar to those of another very influential early psychoanalyst, Alfred Adler. Adler, was a doctor with a particular interest in psychological medicine, who joined Freud as one of the founder members of the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society. He was also one of the early collaborators with whom Freud was later to differ most bitterly.

Although Freud, did not regard homosexuality as ‘normal’, untypically for his time he displayed no condemnation of homosexuality. 5. As the last chapter indicated, masturbation in childhood had been very heavily condemned and indeed punished in the nineteenth century. A more enlightened approach was fostered with the spread of psychoanalytic concepts. 6. So named after the Greek mythological figure Narcissus who fell in love with his own reflection. 7. Unlike Freud, and many other earlier psychoanalysts, Erikson did take into account the effects of culture.

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