genital love

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In psychoanalysis, the sensual and affectionate form of love that a person is capable of after successfully negotiating the various libidinal stages preceding the genital stage and overcoming the Oedipus complex. The term does not occur in the writings of Sigmund Freud (1856–1939), but the concept is implicit in his book Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality (1905) and in his article in 1912 ‘On the Universal Tendency to Debasement in the Sphere of Love’ (Standard Edition, XI, pp. 179–90). See also genital character.

Subjects: Psychology.

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