To would not override everything that they had been

To conclude, I would say that the benefits of
sublimation does have an affect on those impacted by the difficult demands of
sexual morality, however does not necessarily compensate for the hardships the
young men and women went through. Civilized sexual morality in a sense shaped
the character of the man or woman, and it is these characteristics that
determine their place in society. These moralities made it very diifcult for
them to gain their full force and energy required to fit  in, and to an extent, the defence mechanism
of sublimation can provide a different platform in which the can express their
feelings. It would not override everything that they had been through, but
certainly does provide an alternative way of thinking in which their own
feelings can be characterised, in order to find their place in society.

 

In essence, the benefits sublimation can
bring to society can have an affect on the difficult demands of civilized
sexual morality. For example, if the young man is always refrained from sexual
activity, resulting in a loss of the energy/force needed to find his place in
society, he could potentially use the arts to express himself and his feelings.
This can fill the gps of the missing or lacking of energy required for his
character, which in turn can enable him to find his place and fit into society.
The same can be said for the young woman. They have had their intellectual
minds dimminished through the supression of sexual thought. Therefore, through
the art medium for example, the woman could transfer all the sexual thoughts and
considerations and express those feelings through this.

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Freud argues that he is describing a state of
affairs in which equally bad instances can be repreated observed. He states
that it is “hardly credible how seldom normal potency is to be found in a
husband”. He also expresses that the wife is usually frigid among married
couples who’s life is dominated by civilized sexual morality. The most obvious
outcome for this in Freud’s eyes is “nervous illness”.

 

There are consequences which can arise with women
as well. They have been able to preserve their virginity through similar
measures of satisfaction, and show that they are anaesthetic to normal
intercourse in marriage. However, the man’s weakened potency has such a strong
affect on women, that the woman would even remain anaesthetic if her frigidity
does become overpowered by a great sexual experience. In addition, this
weakness in potency by the man has long term consequences throughout married
life. It can make difficult the conceiving of a child, but it also means that
men start to badly tolerate the use of contraception. This can lead to the
cease of sexual intercourse altogether, and with this comes the abandoning of the
basis of married life.

For men, the consequence that enforced
abstinence brings is the fact that they can become habituate to unrealistic,
not normal conditions of satisfaction. This can come as a result of
masturbatory or perverse sexual practices, which in turn, can diminish potency
in marriage. They develop unrealistic expectations of how women are perceived
to be and how they can be satisfied, thus ruining the preparation of marriage.

There are many unavoidable consequences that
come with enforced abstinence and the demands pf civilized sexual morality.
Freud expresses that all unavoidable consequences for abstinence “converge in
the one common result of completely ruining the preparation for marriage”.

 

For young women, their upbringing plays a
vital role in terms of what they are expected by society to be thinking about
intellectually. For example, Freud states that any form of sexual problem is
forbidden to be concerned about amongst young women. They do however continue
to feel very curious about these problems, however it does come with a mental
consquence. Younger women feel frightened to condemm this curiosity as “unwomanly”,
and in the eyes of society, it is seen as a “sinful disposition”. In other
words, any form of thinking scared them away, and any knowledge that would’ve been
gained by them will have lost its value. Freud also has the belief that the
intellectual inferiority of so many younger women can be traced back to the “inhibition
of thought necessitated by sexual suppression”.

 

Following on from the difficult demands of
civilized sexual morality, there are many problems which arise for the young
man with regards to enforced sexual abstinence. For the young man, abstinence
which is continued after the age of 20 years would be no longer
unobjectionable. In other words, civilized education would potentially lead to
further damage when it doesn’t lead to neurosis. This instinct is so powerful,
that it is said that any attempt to fight it can “steel the character”. It can
also be said that a differentiation of an individual character can come as a
result of the current existence of sexual restriction. However, this sexual
restriction and the struggle against sexuality can eat up the energy available
in the character. For the young man, this can be especially dangerous, given
that in order for a young man to fit in and “earn his place in society”, he
must have possession of all attainable forces. 
This can further highlight the problems that come about with enforced
abstinence, reiterated by the fact that this sexual instinct is able to act in
a “self-willed and inflexible fashion” as a result of abstinence. This can
reflect on a man’s sexual behaviour, which according to Freud “lays down the
pattern for all his other modes of reacting to life”. A man will usually
pursure other aims with the same amount of energy used in comparison to the
energetic character when he is winning the object of love. If for any reason he
refrains from satisfying his strong sexual instincts, his behaviour will be
seen as more resigned rather than vigorous, across all aspects of life. The
application of the proposition that “sexual life lays down the pattern for the
exercise of other functions” can also be seen in women.

 

 The capacity to change an originally sexual
aim for one which is no longer sexual, but psychically related to the original,
is known as the capacity for sublimation.
Sexual instincts can result in a phase of enforced abstinence for both the
young man and woman, which can bring about problems, both mentally and
physically.

As
well as sublimation, it is important to understand the demands of civilized
sexual morality, and whether or not it can be compensated by sublimation. Referencing Christian
von Ehrenfels’ distinction between cultural and natural sexual morality, Freud
explains the “etiological
significance of cultural sexual morality”
as a reason for neurosis.
At the beginning, Freud states that cultural sexual mores impose constraints on
the individual, which can cause damage to the person, which in turn threatens
the culture
as a whole. Freud focuses on the consequences of socially-imposed repression
of the sexual
instinct as a cause of neurosis. According to Freud, civilisation is
largely built up on the suppression of instincts. In other words, some parts of
an individual’s possessions have been yielded, whether it’s the “sense of
omnipotence or of the aggressive inclinations of his personality” (Freud,
1906-1908). This gives rise to a more developed possession of material and
property, as a result of this loss of individual possession. In a sense, the
sexual instincts of the individual show us that it rather complex; it is made
up of multiple components which exert a large amount of force on the general
activity of the individual. It has the capability to “displace its aim without
materially diminishing in intensity”. (Freud, 1906-1908).

 

There are also some benefits for the person
when it comes to sublimation. In Freud’s view, the process of sublimation can
be used as a defense mechanism by both sexes. Some examples of this includes
sarcasm; the person would not express his dissapointment directly to someone
else. Instead, he would use sarcasm to express disappointment. Another example
is if a pianist is angry at someone, the pianist would not hurt the person, but
would express the anger through the playing of the piano. In other words,
sublimation itself is a defence mechanism
where people substitute sexual needs (one of id which could not be satisfied
freely) to a cultural or social aim. This
means that we have the ability to convert some of our sexual energy to more socially
or culturally acceptable things, such as expressing yourself creatively using
art (poem, sculptures, painting, songs) which is acceptable by people, while
retaining some of sexual drive for pursuing erotic pleasure.

 

With the last point in mind, it is important
to consider the relationship sublimation has
with culture and society as a whole. The links between sublimation, the role of
the ego and super-ego in the internalisation of cultural values and the
renunciation of drive gratification were central to the Freudian view of
cultural and social development (Freud, 1923 & 1930). Freud
held that the energy invested in sexual impulses can be shifted to the pursuit
of more acceptable and socially valuable achievements of cultural endeavours,
therefore sublimation is a key concept in his teaching connecting sexual theory
and theory of culture (“conspicuous feature of cultural development”). (Van
Haute, 2004) Freud: “The task in sublimation is that of shifting the instinctual
aims in such a way that they cannot come up against frustration from the
external world. In this, sublimation of the instincts lends its assistance. One
gains the most if one can sufficiently heighten the yield of pleasure from the
sources of intellectual work”.

 

When the concept of sublimation was first introduced by Freud in 1905,
it referred to every conceivable result of instinct development except direct
satisfaction and repression. Therefore, sublimation is embraced by a process
called “reaction-formation”, which is the reversal of an instinct into its
opposite. According to the “Three Contributions to the Theory of Sex”,
sublimation makes it clear that reaction-formation denoted just one special
form of it. Later on, Freud showed that sublimation cannot take place if the
instinct is repressed , whereas one of the conditions of reaction-formation is
repression. Sublimation used as a term to denote the outcome of instinct
development can be characterised in three ways; deflection of instinct from
original aim; deflection of instinct from its original object; gratification of
the instinct by means of activity having a more acceptable social or cultural
value than that of the original form of expression.

 

In psychology, “sublimierung” (sublimation)
is a type of defence mechanism, in which socially unacceptable instincts and fantasies
are unconsciously altered into socially acceptable actions or behaviour, resulting
in a long-term conversion of the initial instinct. Sigmund Freud believed that sublimation was a sign of maturity and civilization, allowing people to function normally in culturally
acceptable ways. However
there was an ever growing problem with civilized sexual morality, the problem
associated with enforced abstinence amongst young men and women. In this essay
I will evaluate the relationship proposed by Freud between sublimation and
culture, and determine whether or not the benefits of sublimation can
compensate for the difficult demands of civilized sexual morality.

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