A Contribution to the Psychology of Common Sexual Perversions

Glen, Charles (1939) A Contribution to the Psychology of Common Sexual Perversions. MD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

Certain illnesses met with in practice, increasingly numerous with the advance in psychological knowledge, are found to he due to states of morbid anxiety. The majority of such anxiety states are traceable to some disturbance of the sexual instinct. The policy of surrounding matters of sex in an atmosphere of mystery has stimulated human interest in the subject, frequently to a morbid extent. Civilised man has drawn a sharp distinction between the conscious part of the sexual process and the subsequent unconscious one, desiring the former, rejecting the latter. By concentrating his attention on the attainment of sexual pleasure as an objective per se, he has opened up the way for the logical tolerance of sexual perversions. While most forms of sexual perversions are treated with an increasing degree of tolerance in modem times, and while some may even be deemed necessary under existing regimes, logically they should be entirely unnecessary. The sanctioning of even minor forms of sexual perversion opens the way for the logical acceptance of prostitution, criminal abortion, and infanticide, besides many other undesirable forms of sexual activity. A more tolerant attitude towards the consequences of extra-marital relationships is advocated for humanitarian reasons. The pioneer investigation of the neuroses was Professor Freud. Freud draws a sharp distinction between neuroses and perversions which, in practice, I did not always find it possible to make. I discovered that a number of cases with symptoms of morbid anxiety were really cases of perverted sexuality. The symptoms of sexual perversion met with in a series of cases had certain common features, and followed one another in a definite logical sequence. The meaning of the specified perversions was an attempted evasion of the sentiment of love. The syndrome of sexual perversions was traced to its origin in an incestuous relationship between brother and sister. Incest prohibitions served as the conditioning factors towards sexual perversions. The ease with which the primary sexual impulse could be directed towards heterosexual, homosexual and autoerotic perversions, showed this impulse to be weak and undifferentiated. On the other hand, attempted psychotherapy showed how difficult it was to make any impression on the perverted or conditioned response to sexual excitement. Perversions were traced to a point where the individual (female) took an erotic interest in the consumption of her own excreta, at which point the anxiety state manifested itself. Such an undesirable tendency, if not directly curable, should at least be prevented, if possible. Further investigation alone will reveal whether this psychopathological tendency, to which attention has been drawn through the case records, is of general or merely local prevalence. Prevention would lie in the direction of rendering the child less vulnerable to pernicious influence by more intelligent supervision generally. The teaching of biology from an early age is advocated. A plea is made for the application of psychological knowledge to the problems of human behaviour.

Item Type: Thesis (MD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Clinical psychology, Sexuality
Date of Award: 1939
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1939-80159
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2020 00:17
Last Modified: 03 Mar 2020 00:17
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/80159

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