The erotic transference in women and in men: differences and consequences
Language: 
English
Short Title: 
The erotic transference in women and in men
Abstract: 

Although the erotic transference is believed to be universal, it is variable in its expression. Drawing on the distinction between transference resistance and resistance to the awareness of the transference, I have proposed that, in general, the erotic transference utilized as resistance is more common among women, while resistance to the awareness of the erotic transference is more common among male patients. Erotic transference as resistance poses different analytic problems from those posed by resistance to its awareness. With women in treatment with men, the erotic transference is more often overt, consciously experienced, intense, long-lived and directed toward the analyst, and focused more on love than sex; with men in treatment with women, the erotic transference is muted, relatively short-lived, appears indirectly in dreams and triangular preoccupations, is seldom consciously experienced as a dominant affective motif, is frequently transposed to a woman outside the analytic situation, and most often appears as sexual rather than as a longing for love. In women, the strength of the erotic transference may obscure other important dynamics and conflicts. In short, the strength of the erotic transference, while it has significant therapeutic potential, often acts as a strong transference resistance to working out underlying conflicts. In contrast, in male patients in treatment with women, there is a resistance to the experience of the transference and, frequently, one witnesses defenses against the erotic transference rather than the transference itself. Yet, the dangers are substantial when the erotic transference fails to develop or is suppressed. This difference in the manifestation of the erotic transference parallels an extratherapeutic difference. In general, women achieve their self-identity as women by virtue of certain defining relationships, whereas men achieve their self-identity as men through achievement and autonomy. The reasons for these differences have been explored in terms of cultural dictates, but more particularly in terms of an asymmetry in psychological development.

Author(s): 
Person, E. S.
Item Type: 
Journal Article
Publication Title: 
The Journal of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis
Journal Abbreviation: 
J Am Acad Psychoanal
Publication Date: 
1985-04
Publication Year: 
1985
Pages: 
159-180
Volume: 
13
Issue: 
2
ISSN: 
0090-3604
Library Catalog: 
PubMed
Extra: 
PMID: 3997607

Turabian/Chicago Citation

E. S. Person. 1985-04. "The erotic transference in women and in men: differences and consequences." The Journal of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis 13: 2: 159-180.

Wikipedia Citation

<ref> {{Cite journal | doi = | issn = 0090-3604 | volume = 13 | pages = 159-180 | last = Person | first = E. S. | coauthors = | title = The erotic transference in women and in men: differences and consequences | journal = The Journal of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis | date = 1985-04 | pmid = | pmc = }} </ref>