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the purpose of this brief analysis is to briefly discuss the seduction theory, analyze its contents, and seek to infer a rational for why Sigmund Freud chose to abandon such a theory only one year after mentioning the high probability of its existence. As a way to do this, the author will examine Freud’s own admissions with regards to the lack of therapeutic success, unlikely number of sexual deviants in the Vienna population, the nature of unconsciousness, and the Oedipus Complex.
Firstly, with regards to the Seduction Theory, this was ultimately a theory put forward by Sigmund Freud around the year 1895-1896 in which he sought to link the prevalence of hysteria and obsessional neurosis to repressed memories of childhood sexual assault. In the theory, the repressed sexual assault was ultimately internalized and manifests itself as a function of a type of neurosis or other form of mental issue. Naturally, within the constructs of the times and within the scientific body of knowledge, Freud published a paper on the topic in 1896 and prior to this performed a long set of clinical trials in which he was able to elicit confessions of repressed sexual abuse upon his patients, generally taking place before the age of 4 years; i.e. in infancy. However, for one reason or another, Freud soon abandoned this theory as he evidently thought it to be ultimately untenable within the realm of extant science and experience he had witnessed (Blum 2008).
Although many of Freud never detailed the reasons for why he chose to distance himself from the Seduction Theory, one can infer a great deal based upon his 1897 letter to Wilhelm Fliess. Within this personal correspondence, the four factors which were listed in the introduction of this analysis with regards to why Freud may have ultimately chosen to abandon the theory are iterated. Firstly within the letter Freud complained of the “inability to bring a single analysis to a real conclusion” (Freud 1985). This of course ...Show more
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The need to hypothesize, test, and theorize meant that many of the postulations that were made could not stand up to the rigors…
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