Questions that Matter: Gender and Psychoanalysis’ Theoretical Borders

What Gender Does to Psychoanalysis
By Paulo Beer, Pedro Ambra

This article discusses the introduction, acceptance and refusal of gender theories in psychoanalysis. The central line of discussion consists in approaching the articulation between psychoanalysis and gender studies from a wide perspective, mobilizing specific debates to inquire the manner how these issues are dealt with within psychoanalytic theory. The initial problem derives from the acknowledgment that psychoanalytic debates upon gender issues are often poorly developed, focusing on limited and many times caricatural approaches. A guiding interrogation might therefore be defined as “are gender related questions taken in their full disruptive potential within psychoanalysts or has the psychoanalytic community been taking defensive positions in order to avoid a difficult debate”? This kind of query leads to reflecting beyond the content of theoretical advances made in the last decades, allowing us to consider the function such debates play in psychoanalytic community. It means that analysing how these discussions are proposed and performed might indicate signs of psychoanalysis’ overture or refusal tendencies towards such issues. Understanding the reasons for this limited positioning to such crucial matter is an essential task for psychoanalysts who are committed with the construction of a psychoanalytic praxis which is both present in the culture and politically implicated.

  • epistemology
  • queer
  • gender
  • psychoanalysis
  • science
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