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In a letter of December 22, 1897, Sigmund Freud wrote to Wilhelm Fleiss: "[B]irth, miscarriage, and menstruation are all connected with the lavatory via the word Abort (Abortus)" (p. 240). In German this word does effectively carry these different meanings.

Freud was to further develop these reflections in his "Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality" (1905d), where he describes the phases of libidinal development from birth onward. The retention of fecal matter initially corresponds with an intention to use it for masturbatory purposes....