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Sex, Knowledge, and Receptions of the Past$
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Kate Fisher and Rebecca Langlands

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199660513

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199660513.001.0001

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Androgyny, Perversion, and Social Evolution in Interwar Psychoanalytic Thought

Androgyny, Perversion, and Social Evolution in Interwar Psychoanalytic Thought

(p.220) 10 Androgyny, Perversion, and Social Evolution in Interwar Psychoanalytic Thought
Sex, Knowledge, and Receptions of the Past

Alison M. Moore

Oxford University Press

In her writings throughout the 1920s–1940s, Marie Bonaparte, French Freudian thinker and royal heiress, followed the erudite Spanish doctor Gregorio Marañon in mapping problems of gender differentiation, female masochism, and frigidity onto a vision of evolution from ‘primitive’ to ‘civilized societies’. Both Bonaparte and Marañon shared similar views about evolution and sex in common with Freud. But their ideas were a significant departure from Freud’s view of the sexual past since both were acutely aware of the emerging currents of women’s rights in European societies and both also grappled with the powerful pronatalist ideologies of the interwar period. Evolutionary biology created a generative intellectual environment for thinking about modern sexuality in light of an imagined past. However, even though such theories relied on a developmental teleology, they also radically destabilized linear views of progress in sexual behaviour along civilizational lines.

Keywords:   teleology, progress, evolution, androgyny, female sexuality, interwar sexuality, Sigmund Freud, Marie Bonaparte, Gregorio Marañon

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