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Sexual Difference: Masculinity and Psychoanalysis offers a critical exploration of issues of gender in psychoanalysis. It acknowledges and unpacks the complexity of theory and writing in this area, particularly the way sexual difference can only be thought about from a gendered position. As the book is written by a male academic and psychologist, its orientation is towards the way masculinity is expressed in theory and practice, and how this influences the experience and construction of both masculinity and femininity in contemporary culture. In addition, Stephen Frosh describes how psychoanalysis itself can be seen as a system and approach heavily imbued with gender assumptions, and how the form and content of its theories express many of the dilemmas of sexual difference which it seeks to overcome. Sexual Difference is written in a clear, accessible and also self-reflexive style. It introduces major strands of psychoanalytic theory on sexual difference, particularly those associated with the Kleinian and Lacanian traditions, and includes a detailed exploration of the gender assumptions apparent in some of Freud's work.
As well as providing a critical analysis of these psychoanalytical positions, the book also employs them to throw light on such crucial issues for gender politics as sexual violence, language and psychotherapy. Stephen Frosh is a practising clinical psychologist and an academic psychologist and writer. He has worked for many years in the areas of psychoanalysis, culture and gender, and also with children who have been sexually abused.