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a definite influence on the symptomatic expression of the neurosis,
placing at its disposal the whole sum of intestinal disturbances.
Considering the erogenous significance of the anal zone which has been
retained at least in transformation, one should not laugh at the
hemorrhoidal influences to which the old medical literature attached so
much weight in the explanation of neurotic states.
Children utilizing the erogenous sensitiveness of the anal zone can be
recognized by their holding back of fecal masses until through
accumulation there result violent muscular contractions; the passage of
these masses through the anus is apt to produce a marked irritation of
the mucus membrane. Besides the pain this must produce also a sensation
of pleasure. One of the surest premonitions of later eccentricity or
nervousness is when an infant obstinately refuses to empty his bowel
when placed on the chamber by the nurse and reserves this function at
its own pleasure. It does not concern him that he will soil his bed; all
he cares for is not to lose the subsidiary pleasure while defecating.
The educators have again the right inkling when they designate children
who withhold these functions as bad. The content of the bowel which is
an exciting object to the sexually sensitive surface of mucous membrane
behaves like the precursor of another organ which does not become active
until after the phase of childhood. In addition it has other important
meanings to the nursling. It is evidently treated as an additional part
of the body, it represents the first "donation," the disposal of which
expresses the pliability while the retention of it can express the
spite of the little being towards its environment. From the idea of
"donation" he later gains the meaning of the "babe" which according to
one of the infantile sexual theories is acquired through eating and is
born through the bowel.
The retention of fecal masses, which is at first intentional in order to
utilize them, as it were, for masturbatic excitation of the anal zone,
is at least one of the roots of constipation so frequent in neuropaths.
The whole significance of the anal zone is mirrored in the fact that
there are but few neurotics who have not their special scatologic
customs, ceremonies, etc., which they retain with cautious secrecy.
Real masturbatic irritation of the anal zone by means of the fingers,
evoked through either centrally or peripherally supported itching, is
not at all rare in older children.
*The Activity of the Genital Zone.*--Among the erogenous zones of the
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