A Psychoanalytic Approach to Sexual Difference

Author(s) : Jennifer Yusin

A Psychoanalytic Approach to Sexual Difference

Book Details

  • Publisher : Routledge
  • Published : December 2023
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 136
  • Category :
    Psychoanalysis
  • Catalogue No : 97506
  • ISBN 13 : 9781032431659
  • ISBN 10 : 1032431652
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A Psychoanalytic Approach to Sexual Difference analyses the concepts of sex and gender, showing how sexual difference is characterised by ongoing transformations of spatiality and body, and of essentiality and normativity.

In this book, Jennifer Yusin presents a psychoanalytic study that engages with clinical cases, philosophies of sex and gender, and psychoanalytic writings about sexual difference. She deftly and accessibly analyses Freud and Lacan’s work on feminine sexuality and Winnicott’s notion of the transitional object, as well as theories of sexuality and gender developed by Judith Butler and Monique Wittig, among others. Yusin starts with the question of how the lack of any essential definition of sexual difference affects subjectivity. She places an emphasis on the psychoanalytic experience and its effects upon how a subject experiences the difference between being a body and having a body. Following Lacan’s discovery of the Borromean knot structure of the unconscious and the work of the psychoanalyst Jean-Gérard Bursztein, Yusin continues developing subjective topology as a methodology. She also introduces and shows how sexual difference is linked to transformations of sex and body. Through this, Yusin highlights how it is necessary to reformulate sex, gender, and sexual identities in psychoanalytic theories and in the practice of psychoanalysis. She also speaks to the necessity of generating a new lexicon in order to help analysts speak about sexual difference in ways that do not perpetuate any essentialism or normativity on the topic.

This book is essential reading for clinicians in psychoanalysis and mental health practitioners in the trans field, as well as for academics working in gender theory, queer and trans studies, and feminist philosophies.

Table of Contents


1. A note about my method: subjective topology
2. Some considerations of the changing of psychoanalytic terminology
3. On constructing a psychoanalytic lexicon
4. Starting points: sex and nomination
5. Names-of-the-father: a first approach
6. One sex
7. Psychoanalytic invariance
8. Some preliminary remarks regarding nomination
9. Maternal investment
10. Symbolic nomination and redoubling
11. The link between speech and nomination
12. The difficulty of interpretation
13. Signifiers ‘man’, ‘woman’: semblant of body
14. The psychoanalytical group
15. The discourse of the hysteric and jouissance
16. All-phallic space/non-all phallic space
17. Letters and body 19. Signifier and symptom 20. Mark in signifier 18. Sexual difference: a radical alternative
19. Return to a remark in signifier
20. Formations of voice
21. Fourth consistency
22. Assumption of nomination
23. A return to our psychoanalytical lexicon

About the Author(s)

Jennifer Yusin is a psychoanalyst in private practice in Philadelphia, and Professor in the Department of English and Philosophy and Director of the Gender and Sexuality Studies Program at Drexel University, USA.

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