The Death Of Childhood

Posted: February 17, 2012 in Desire, Freud, Identity
Tags: , , ,

Law and Sexuality Blog has an interesting article about a M/m porn company, TIM which has been marketing its wares with images of young boys.

You can read the whole article here.

In it Chris, an academic, writes:

‘there is the less radical, but perhaps no less controversial idea that children can be sexual beings.  This is the revelation that social media already offers to anyone willing to see it, and raising difficult social and legal questions about consent and contemporary domesticity.’

I agree. But I think as an expert in law and sexuality, who writes and blogs in part for an academic audience, he might have acknowledged where the ‘controversial idea that children can be sexual beings’ comes from: Freud.

Here is an extract from Freud’s ‘Autobiographical Study’ on the subject:

‘I have already mentioned that my investigation of the precipitating and underlying causes of the neuroses led me more and more frequently to conflicts between the subject’s sexual impulses and his resistances to sexuality. In my search for the pathogenic situations in which the repressions of sexuality had set in and which the symptoms, as substitutes for what was repressed, had had their origin, I was carried further and further back into the patient’s life and ended by reaching the first years of his childhood. What poets and students of human nature had always asserted turned out to be true: the impressions of that early period of life, though they were for the most part buried in amnesia, left eradicable traces on the individual’s growth and in particular laid down the disposition to any nervous disorder that was to follow. But since these experiences of childhood were always concerned with sexual excitations and the reactions against them, I found myself faced by the fact of infantile sexuality – once again a novelty and a contradiction of one of the strongest human prejudices. Childhood was looked upon as ‘innocent’ and free from the lusts of sex, and the fight with the demon of ‘sensuality’ was not thought to begin until the troubled age of puberty. Such occasional sexual activities as it had been impossible to overlook in children were put down as signs of degeneracy or premature depravity or as a curious freak of nature. Few of the findings of psychoanalysis have met with such universal contradiction or have aroused such an outburst of indignation as the assertion that the sexual function starts at the beginning of life and reveals its presence by important signs even in childhood. And yet no other finding of analysis can be demonstrated so easily and so completely.’


  1. impeus says:

    I think childhood IS innocent, but also completely amoral. “Sexual function” probably needs to be defined to avoid pointless arguments, but yes, sexual function as a physical thing is undeniable: there is even in utero evidence.

    • well I think Freud does define sexual function quite clearly. I will find some more refs if youre interested.

      Maybe ‘innocence’ needs to be more clearly defined too!

    • though actually I think William Blake defines innocence quite well in Songs of Innocence and Experience

      On Fri, Feb 17, 2012 at 3:20 PM, Elly wrote:

      > well I think Freud does define sexual function quite clearly. I will find > some more refs if youre interested. > > Maybe ‘innocence’ needs to be more clearly defined too! > > > >

  2. […] questo tipo di problema, in risposta a un pezzo di Law and Sexuality Blog , ho postato un articolo in riferimento ad una società di porno omosessuale che utilizza immagini legate al tipo di […]

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