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Additional resources for Adolescence & Psychoanalysis: The Story and the History
Among these tendencies the first place is taken with uniform frequency by the child's sexual impulses towards his parents, which are as a rule already differentiated owing to the attraction of the opposite sex -- the son being drawn towards his mother and the daughter -38towards her father. 26 At the same time as these plainly incestuous phantasies are overcome and repudiated, one of the most significant, but also one of the most painful, psychical achievements of the pubertal period is completed: detachment from parental authority, a process that alone makes possible the opposition, which is so important for the progress of civilisation, between the new generation and the old.
While this exposition explained many features of the adolescent process and behaviour which had been unexplained before, the newly developed notion of the existence of an infantile sex life could not but lower the significance of adolescence in the eyes of the investigators. Before the publication of the Three Essays, adolescence had derived major significance from its role as the beginning of sex life in the individual; after the discovery of an infantile sex life, the status of adolescence was reduced to that of a period of final transformations, a transition and bridge between the diffuse infantile and the genitally centred adult sexuality.
Other starting-points with the same early origin enable a man to develop ____________________ [Footnote added 1920:] Cf. my paper A Special Type of Choice of Object made by Men ( 1910h). 27 -40more than one sexual fine, based no less upon his childhood, and to lay down very various conditions for his object-choice. 28 Prevention of inversion One of the tasks implicit in object-choice is that it should find its way to the opposite sex. This, as we know, is not accomplished without a certain amount of fumbling.