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THE FIRST WOMAN, AND HER ANTEDILUVIAN DESCENDANTS-1
THE FIRST WOMAN, AND HER ANTEDILUVIAN DESCENDANTS-2
THE FIRST WOMAN, AND HER ANTEDILUVIAN DESCENDANTS-3
THE FIRST WOMAN, AND HER ANTEDILUVIAN DESCENDANTS-4
THE FIRST WOMAN, AND HER ANTEDILUVIAN DESCENDANTS-5
THE FIRST WOMAN, AND HER ANTEDILUVIAN DESCENDANTS-6
THE FIRST WOMAN, AND HER ANTEDILUVIAN DESCENDANTS-7
DEGREES OF SENTIMENTAL ATTACHMENT AT DIFFERENT PERIODS-8
A VIEW OF MATRIMONY IN THREE DIFFERENT LIGHTS
FEMALE FRIENDSHIP
A LETTER TO A NEW MARRIED MAN
ITALIAN DEBAUCHERY
CUSTOM IN THE MOGUL EMPIRE
ANECDOTE OF CAESAR
POWER OF PHILTRES AND CHARMS
LAPLAND AND GREENLAND LADY
ART OF DETERMINING THE PRECISE FIGURE, THE DEGREE OF BEAUTY,THE HABITS, AND THE AGE, OF WOMEN, NOTWITHSTANDING THE AIDS AND DISGUISES OF DRESS
THE IDEAL OF FEMALE BEAUTY; OR A DESCRIPTION OF THE FAMOUS STATUE OF THE VENUS DE MEDICI
AN ESSAY ON MATRIMONY-1
AN ESSAY ON MATRIMONY-2
Three Contributions to the Theory of Sex. PREFACE
THE SEXUAL ABERRATIONS-1.1
DEVIATION IN REFERENCE TO THE SEXUAL AIM-1.2
GENERAL STATEMENTS APPLICABLE TO ALL PERVERSIONS-1.3
PARTIAL IMPULSES AND EROGENOUS ZONES-1.4
THE INFANTILE SEXUALITY-2.1
THE SEXUAL AIM OF THE INFANTILE SEXUALITY-2.2
THE INFANTILE SEXUAL INVESTIGATION-2.3
THE SOURCES OF THE INFANTILE SEXUALITY-2.4
THE TRANSFORMATION OF PUBERTY-3
THE THEORY OF THE LIBIDO-3.1
SUMMARY-3.2
SUMMARY-3.3
INDEX-1
INDEX-2
INDEX-3

II 

 

THE INFANTILE SEXUALITY 

 

 

It is a part of popular belief about the sexual impulse that it is 

absent in childhood and that it first appears in the period of life 

known as puberty. This, though a common error, is serious in its 

consequences and is chiefly due to our present ignorance of the 

fundamental principles of the sexual life. A comprehensive study of the 

sexual manifestations of childhood would probably reveal to us the 

existence of the essential features of the sexual impulse, and would 

make us acquainted with its development and its composition from various 

sources. 

 

*The Neglect of the Infantile.*--It is remarkable that those writers who 

endeavor to explain the qualities and reactions of the adult individual 

have given so much more attention to the ancestral period than to the 

period of the individual's own existence--that is, they have attributed 

more influence to heredity than to childhood. As a matter of fact, it 

might well be supposed that the influence of the latter period would be 

easier to understand, and that it would be entitled to more 

consideration than heredity.[1] To be sure, one occasionally finds in 

medical literature notes on the premature sexual activities of small 

children, about erections and masturbation and even actions resembling 

coitus, but these are referred to merely as exceptional occurrences, as 

curiosities, or as deterring examples of premature perversity. No author 

has to my knowledge recognized the normality of the sexual impulse in 

childhood, and in the numerous writings on the development of the child 

the chapter on "Sexual Development" is usually passed over.[2] 

 

*Infantile Amnesia.*--This remarkable negligence is due partly to 

conventional considerations, which influence the writers on account of 

their own bringing up, and partly to a psychic phenomenon which has thus 

far remained unexplained. I refer to the peculiar amnesia which veils 

from most people (not from all!) the first years of their childhood, 

usually the first six or eight years. So far it has not occurred to us 

that this amnesia ought to surprise us, though we have good reasons for 

surprise. For we are informed that in those years from which we later 

obtain nothing except a few incomprehensible memory fragments, we have 

vividly reacted to impressions, that we have manifested pain and 

pleasure like any human being, that we have evinced love, jealousy, and 

other passions as they then affected us; indeed we are told that we have 

uttered remarks which proved to grown-ups that we possessed 

understanding and a budding power of judgment. Still we know nothing of 


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