1st Edition

Oedipal Experiences in Same-Sex Families

By Yifat Eitan-Persico Copyright 2024
    328 Pages 14 Color & 15 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    328 Pages 14 Color & 15 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    328 Pages 14 Color & 15 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book updates the Oedipus complex for a contemporary audience in the light of social and cultural changes and explores its implications for psychoanalytic treatment and our understanding of queer families.

    Growing evidence during the past few decades indicates that children who grow up in same-sex families adapt well. These findings, which do not conform to the predictions of Oedipal theory, expose the theory’s biases, and call for reexamination of its premises. This book based on ground-breaking research and pursues a methodical investigation of the characteristics of the same-sex families that defy the expectations of Oedipal theory. Furnished with vivid illustrations, it invites the reader to engage actively in the interpretive effort and presents a diverse and complex story about kinship, opening a window onto a rich world of infantile phantasies and parents’ psychological conflicts, at the fascinating intersection of the personal and the social.

    Oedipal Experiences in Same-Sex Families will appeal to psychoanalysts, psychotherapists, educators and policymakers, same-sex parents, and parents who were assisted by gamete donation.

    Introduction: A bridge between two islands: psychoanalytic thinking and the research field  Part I: What does Oedipal development have to do with the parents' sex, anyway?  1.“I want to marry you, Mommy”: On Oedipal configurations in same-sex families  2.Oedipal Configurations: Mutual illumination of theory and research findings  Part II: What does genetics have to do with kinship, anyway?  3. On biological affiliation and kinship  4. A new hierarchy: Asymmetry between the birth mother and social mother in lesbian couples  5. Back to the closet: The issue of the child’s genetic origin among gay fathers  6. The dual role of the extended family.  7. The power of interpellation: kinship conceptualization among same-sex parents and their children  Part III: What does procreation have to do with parental coitus, anyway?  8. Between longing and dread: representations of gamete donors and surogates in the children's inner-worlds.  9. Gamete donation in light of the primal scene: The parental challenge of integrating the donor’s imago  Part IV: Afterword   10. Oedipus for Everyone? Biases in the Oedipal model: their roots and how to overcome them  11. How to work with same-sex families?  Coda. The Kids Are All Right: a psychoanalytic reading in Lisa Cholodenko's film.  Appendix A  Appendix B.


    Dr. Yifat Eitan-Persico is a practicing clinical psychologist and a candidate in the Israel Psychoanalytic Society. She is a translator and editor of psychoanalytic writings, and a lecturer in post-graduate psychoanalytic programs. The Hebrew edition of this book was awarded the prestigious Bahat Prize for the best academic book, 2021.

    'Through a remarkable blend of psychoanalytic insight and phenomenological observation, Eitan-Persico offers a nuanced portrait of queer kinship that is neither utopian nor dystopian. As a result, we are given the opportunity to appreciate both the vulnerability and vigor that compose queer families, along with the innovation they bring to our shopworn ideas about kinship.'

    Ken Corbett, Clinical Assistant Professor at the NYU Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis; author of Boyhoods: Rethinking Masculinities, and A Murder Over A Girl: Justice, Gender, Junior High

    'Oedipal Experiences in Same-Sex Families is a brilliant book that presents an original and innovative psychoanalytic perspective on same-sex families. Eitan-Persico offers outstanding insights on both children and parents’ internal worlds, challenges heteronormative notions of genetics and kinship, birth and procreation. Her research integrates psychoanalytic thinking with LGBTQ family research and presents rigorous rethinking of the Oedipal model in light of contemporary social changes. This is an important and fascinating book.'

    Galit Atlas, PhD, faculty member at NYU Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy & Psychoanalysis; author of Emotional inheritance: A Therapist, Her Patients and the Legacy of Trauma

    'An innovative and profound book, resting on incisive thinking, comprehensive knowledge and sophisticated critical analysis. In addition to its important contribution for the crucial updating of theory, the book deepens our clinical sensitivity and understanding of same-sex families, and illuminates the changing reality of child-rearing in the 21st century.'

    Emanuel Berman, Haifa University and the Israel Psychoanalytic Society; Recipient of the Sigourney award, 2011