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seduction theory


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In psychoanalysis, a theory propounded by Sigmund Freud (1856–1939) from 1895 to 1897, and then abandoned, according to which neuroses were attributed to repressed memories of sexual seduction in childhood. But in 1897 he ceased to believe that the fantasies were based in reality and propounded a theory of psychical reality to deal with the problem. In his article ‘On the History of the Psycho-Analytic Movement’ (1914), he wrote: ‘If hysterical subjects trace back their symptoms to traumas that are fictitious, then the new fact which emerges is precisely that they create such scenes in phantasy, and this psychical reality requires to be taken into account alongside practical reality’ (Standard Edition, XIV, pp. 7–66, at pp. 17–18).

Subjects: Psychology.


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