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Loss of innocence : Albert Moll, Sigmund Freud and the invention of childhood sexuality around 1900.

Sauerteig, Lutz (2012) 'Loss of innocence : Albert Moll, Sigmund Freud and the invention of childhood sexuality around 1900.', Medical history., 56 (Special issue 2). pp. 156-183.

Abstract

This paper analyses how, prior to the work of Sigmund Freud, an understanding of infant and childhood sexuality emerged during the nineteenth century. Key contributors to the debate were Albert Moll, Max Dessoir and others, as fin-de-siècle artists and writers celebrated a sexualised image of the child. By the beginning of the twentieth century, most paediatricians, sexologists, psychologists, psychiatrists, psychoanalysts and pedagogues agreed that sexuality formed part of a child’s ‘normal’ development. This paper argues that the main disagreements in discourses about childhood sexuality related to different interpretations of children’s sexual experiences. On the one hand stood an explanation that argued for a homology between children’s and adults’ sexual experiences, on the other hand was an understanding that suggested that adults and children had distinct and different experiences. Whereas the homological interpretation was favoured by the majority of commentators, including Moll, Freud, and to some extent also by C.G. Jung, the heterological interpretation was supported by a minority, including childhood psychologist Charlotte Bühler.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Childhood Sexuality, History of Childhood, Sexualisation, Child–Woman, Psychiatry, Psychology, Psychoanalysis, Sexology, Charlotte Bühler, Max Dessoir, Havelock Ellis, Wilhelm Fließ, Sigmund Freud, Carl Gustav Jung, Karl Kraus, Sámuel Lindner, Albert Moll, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Egon Schiele, Wilhelm Stekel, William Stern, Fritz Wittels.
Full text:PDF (Abstract) - Supplemental Material (207Kb)
Full text:PDF - Published Version (285Kb)
Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/mdh.2011.31
Record Created:10 Jan 2012 10:35
Last Modified:07 Apr 2013 00:30

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