Author: Charles Sarnoff M.D.
Step by step, moment by moment, sexuality during late latency-early adolescence pursues a predestined course, from an evocative, narcissistic, fantasy symbol-oriented discharge organization to one with predominantly communicative, altruistic, reality-oriented discharge function. It is necessary for the personality of the child to make a series of changes, primarily cognitive, in order to negotiate this shift. At first the changes are internal. For instance, drive energies begin to intensify under the pressure of increased secretion of sexual hormones and the form of representations to be used as symbols more and more takes on the shape of humankind. Playthings give way to real things. Symbols are chosen less and less for their ability to evoke a private world of memories and feelings, and increasingly for their ability to serve as communicative links with the real and object world.