chapter  Eight
Promoting identity integration
ByMark Bracher
Pages 14

Promoting identity integration reduces social problems in several ways. First, the increase in the number and diversity of contents results in a more secure identity, which has less need of socially problematic behaviours to maintain itself. Second, integration of rejected impulses eliminates the return of the repressed, the process by which excluded elements of the self are acted out unconsciously and often in harmful ways. Finally, integrating the self’s negative qualities into identity reduces the need for externalizing and other defences that contribute to social symptoms. Rejection of homosexual and other “queer” sexual impulses, wishes, fantasies, and thoughts remains rampant, due largely to the cultural stigma that is still attached to non-heterosexual acts and the anxiety that follows from the stigma. People need to understand that, like “perverse” sexual impulses, violent and even murderous impulses are normal, natural, and universal and that there should thus be no shame in having such impulses.