The Sexual Drive and Its Viscissitudes

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The sexual drive undergoes a remarkable degree of maturation and development from birth to about 15 years of age. In the first years of life, drive energies are involved in a search for pleasurable discharge, concentered all in self. In early childhood and latency, drives find outlet through channels dominated by fantasy. At puberty, an organ system specific for the drive matures, providing an outlet channel to conduct libidinal energies toward love objects, which are beyond the limits of the self. Finally, in late adolescence, there is a chance to establish an articulation of the drive and organ system with the needs of the object.

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