chapter  15
The Conundrum of Sexuality
Pages 12

It is probably G. Klein (1969) who should be credited with making an essential conceptual distinction between two theories of sexuality proposed by Freud. Klein pointed out that the clinical theory of the neurosogenic import of conflicts concerning the sexual wishes of the oedipal period has proved to be sound and is in no way weakened if psychoanalysis rejects so-called libido theory -the meta psychological postulate that mental activity is, in whole or in part, propelled by a sexual drive (Freud, 1905b, pp. 217-19). Since then, a number of eminent contributors (mostly featured in a volume in memory of Klein [Gill and Holzman, 1976]) have advocated abandoning any effort to construct explanatory hypotheses on a natural science model in favor of ahermeneutic77 readings of the meanings of symbolically encoded clinical data. In the realm of sexuality, such a conceptual strategy would confine psychoanalysts to efforts to elucidate the wishes im­ plicit in conscious or unconscious fantasies.