Psychology

Article excerpt

Our Changing Views of Homosexuality in Psychoanalysis. Catherine Mortiere, Department of Clinical Psychology, University of Detroit Mercy, 8200 West Outer Drive, Detroit, MI 48219

Historically, our culture has stigmatized homosexuality as being profoundly deviant. In recent years, health professionals have sought to redefine homosexuality. There has been a clear split between approaches to psychoanalytic therapy for homosexual patients: (a) reparative therapy, and (b) "Gay Affirmative Therapy." They have divergent views in etiology, treatment, and outcome of therapy. Often sex is considered the only socially acceptable way in which a man can seek closeness. Homosexuals are both implicitly and explicitly denied social support, and then they are stigmatized when this is reflected in their behavior. Masculinity and femininity are characteristics central to our self-concepts and are the ways of relating in our lives. These distinctions are central to the misconception that homosexuality is the failure to act in the ways that meet societal expectations or our perspective gender roles. Conflict often arises when one identifies and lives in accordance with a particular gender and splits off t heir sexual self to conform to societal norms. The clinical task, therefore, is to free the homosexual patient from conflicts that cause self-destructive behavior. This will enable the patient to live as gratifying a life as possible, become well adjusted, and maintain stable and long-lasting love relationships.

Pedophilia. Sonal S. Patel, Department of Liberal Arts, University of Detroit Mercy, 8200 West Outer Drive, Detroit, MI 48219

"Pedophilia is the word that the popular media give to any kind of sexual behavior between an adult and a legally underage person" (Feierman, 1990, p.3). In every species it is crucial, in order to survive, for pairbonding to occur between the child and parent. In the case of pedophilia, the parent and child pairbonding becomes diverted and entrained to sexuoerotic, also known as lover/lover pairbonding. This merger of parental and erotic love is what represents the pedophile's attachment to the child. There has been some controversy when thinking about pedophilia cross-culturally. Ford and Beach (1997) conducted cross-cultural research and documented cross-cultural differences in behaviors and beliefs for all sorts of sexual activity. However, research in general regarding pedophilia is very limited. Researchers and authorities are trying to find well-grounded empirical and theoretical data that can be viewed without limitations. It is believed that 80% of pedophiles were molested as children, and many of th ese individuals are psychologically trapped at the age of the molestation. There have been cognitive-behavioral and psychodynamic formulations to explain this phenomenon of the abused becoming the abusers. There is no known treatment; however, various treatment techniques are being attempted experimentally.

Perceived Victim Responsibility, Pleasure, and Trauma in Male Rape Victims. Amy Moore, Lee Anderson, Dawn Hill, and Cynthia A. Prosen, Psychology Department, Northern Michigan University, 306 Greis Hall, Marquette, MI 49855

The purpose of this study was to look at people's view of male rape victims. The study focused on how males and females interpreted a fictional male rape case, on whether the victim or the assailant was accountable for the incident, and on how much pleasure was experienced by the victim and by the assailant. The subjects were randomly split into two groups in which one group read a story depicting a heterosexual victim and one group read a story depicting a homosexual victim. Participants were college students. The instrument used was a questionnaire previously used by Mitchell et al. (1999). At the end of the survey, a brief memory test was used to determine the victim's sexual orientation, which was assigned to that participant. Data were evaluated with respect to the hypothesis that male victims were more responsible for their plight, enjoyed the assault more, and experienced less trauma than female victims in similar circumstances. …