Heinz Kohut's relationship with a man

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[Heinz] Kohut [psychoanalyst] grew up in Vienna in the 1920s. By the time he was 10, his parents' relationship with each other was deteriorating, and young Heinz found himself to be quite lonely. But he "survived the fragmentation of the family remarkably well, in no small part due to the lucky presence of a warmhearted tutor named Ernst Morawetz, who entered his life just as his mother left it" (p. 23). Heinz mother hired Morawetz, a university student probably in his 20s, to be Heinz's companion and provide him with intellectual stimulation - Heinz was age 11 at this time. Most afternoons after school Morawetz took Heinz to a museum, an art gallery, or the opera, or they simply read together and talked about interesting subjects. As Kohut later put it: "I had this private tutor, who was a very important person in my life. He would take me to museums and swimming and concerts and we had endless intellectual conversations and played complicated intellectual games and played chess together. I was an only child. So it was in some ways psychologically life-saving for me. I was very fond of the fellow" (p. 24).

Heinz found in Morawetz companionship, connection, and deep empathy. He later described those years with his tutor as extremely happy ones, perhaps the happiest in his life. He idealized his tutor, who was a "'spiritual leader,' able to share his 'almost religious' love for nature, as well as teach him about literature, art and music" (p. 24). The relationship became sexualized, at first mainly kissing and hugging, then naked closeness, then tender mutual fondling, and mutual oral sex. Strozier (2001) argued that Kohut put his relationship with Morawetz into the context of the ancient Greeks, about whom he began reading in depth. Kohut felt the sexualization was incidental and meant little to his own sexual identity - what was of over-riding importance was the emotional connection. [...]

Strozier concluded: "This is not to defend child abuse, which is abhorrent. But it may well be that our sense of exploitation of children has become too ideological and leads us to miss the subtlety of love and connection that can arise even in deeply unequal relationships" (p. 26).

source: 'An Elaboration on Causation and Positive Cases in Child Sexual Abuse' by B. Rind; Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 10:352-357; Taken from website: forums.philosophyforums.com/ threads/is-pedophilia-wrong-39814-34.html; Posted: 13 April 2010; Original text from: 2003