Added: January 15, 2003 – Last updated: January 2, 2016


Author: John Forrester

Title: Rape, Seduction and Psychoanalysis

Subtitle: -

In: Rape: An Historical and Social Enquiry

Edited by: Sylvana Tomaselli and Roy Porter

Place: Oxford

Publisher: Basil Blackwell

Year: 1986

Pages: 57-83 and 246-254

ISBN-10: 0631137483 – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat | ISBN-10: 0631169067 (pbk.) – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat

Language: English

Keywords: Modern History: 19th Century, 20th Century | European History | Research: History of Psychoanalysis; Types: Child Sexual Abuse


Link: -


Author: Wikipedia

Abstract: »Sigmund Freud proposed a theory of the etiology of neuroses which relied on the seduction theory, which held that neuroses were caused by the aftereffects of the sexual abuse and seduction of children. Feminist writers criticize this theory as providing an opening to excuse rapists and blame rape victims. Psychoanalytic discourse and legal discourse, however, are antipathetic. Psychoanalysis is not concerned with the rendering of moral or legal judgments but with improvement in the patient's mental state. Legal procedures, on the other hand, focus on culpability and sanctions based on legal guilt. Seduction is the concern of psychoanalysis because it involves complex emotional interactions between persons that involve manipulation and ambiguities that become fertile ground for shame, guilt, and psychic pain. These emotions prompt the arousal of psychic defenses that issue in neuroses. Rape is a criminal offense that focuses on the defendant's culpability in a charge of sexual assault that occurred in a relatively short time period. Consent or nonconsent of the victim becomes a principal focus of the trial. The psychoanalyst is less concerned with matters of culpability than with how the victim interprets and reacts to the incident. The victim may question whether she fought hard enough or may have contributed in some way to the rape. Under such circumstances the rape may turn into a seduction in the victim's mind. This produces emotional complications that are the proper concern of the psychoanalyst.« (Source: NCJRS Abstracts Database)


  Introduction (p. 57)
  Rape and psychoanalysis (p. 58)
  Unconscious motivation (p. 61)
  The concept of conflict (p. 66)
  The seduction theory (p. 69)
  A theory of rape (p. 71)
  Transference and seduction (p. 77)
  A theory of seduction (p. 79)
  Acknowledgements (p. 83)

Wikipedia: Psychoanalysis: Sigmund Freud / Freud's seduction theory | Types of rape: Child sexual abuse