European psychoanalytic group for research and training on  the causes of illiteracy


Illiteracy Psychoanalysis and Topology


  Illiteracy and Sexuation
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Sexuation is not just sexual difference either as a biological fact or as a cultural production, but is also that very division of the Symbolic, the Logos, against itself. (Dr. Tony Thwaites)

Illiteracy, psychoanalysis, topology and sexuation

This word "sexuation", refers to the mode of reproduction of the living. Nothing to see with "sexuality" !

(Extract from the book : "Illettrisme et Sexuation" from Charley Supper)




Logical position of  the sexuated subject


Man "loves" Woman = hétéro

Woman "loves" Man = perverse (fetishism) or homo

Woman "loves" Woman = hétéro

Man "loves" Man = homo

Four positions of the sexuated subject

  • Those are "hétéros" which love women.
  • Those are "homos" which love men.




                               According to Lacan : in "Encore"p.73



It is not without reason that an adult meets with difficulties in trying to read or write, but he always makes very particular errors. One never yet saw a human bad enough to refuse reading what is written !

 What is written, the illiterate one does not have access there because reading is to read oneself, and for this, it is necessary to have been indexed oneself in the catalogue of sexuation, which means something else than to be registered in one sex or the other, the good one or not the good one.

There is not "the good sex"!

It is an error pretending to solve the problems by separating the humans , on one side men and on the other  women, because one enters there in the field of sexuality and that sexuality has nothing to do with what occupies us : the sexuation.


We will further see that sexuality refers to binary (man-woman), and that sexuation is a relationship between three ones, which uses what we let us call the Other (the Other sex).

Other sex whose function, is to make possible the deciphering of the reading by differentiating the small letters and the words of the text which one is reading!

The illiterate ones, the real illiterate ones, are always very surprised to note that the letters of the alphabet have two pronunciations. In french "Z", as a letter of the alphabet is pronounced  "zed", but is the sound "zzz" when reading. S is pronounced "ess" in the alphabet  and "ss" or "zz" with the reading (or no sound as in the final "S" of "autres" (others).

Not so easy !

Then, for "A" which is the first letter that one teaches to the children or with illiterate ones, there is a special difficulty. "A" as an alphabetical letter is read the same way that reading letter "A". But depends of the letter that comes just after him !"AI" will be pronounced "è" in French like in the word "maison" (home).

What a pity !

One who has access to the reading does not  even see all this complex articulation when he uses it. It is like if, once the the letters and words are recorded, one does not need to know how it functions to use them.

This is the raison of the necessity to record letters and words. A functionality that permit consensus which binds the humans. They must be sexuated (registered in themselves) so they can have the use of registered words.

One can see then, that each letter, once it has been recorded by a human, refers to three things:

  • its own written form, the writing (what is sight)

  • its pronunciation as a letter of the alphabet (what is hearing)

  • its pronunciation in the reading of the words of a text (what is interpretation).

There are three terms, it is not binary!

Thus, sexuality is a bad reference to speak about the difference of sexes, because its refers to binary and does not take into account the fact that a human being lives the first part of his life with a not registered sexuation.

The field of sexuation proposes to us a choice between two opportunities, which are :

  • to be sexuated (like the human beings).

  • or not sexuated (as the amoebas which reproduces by scissiparity).

The human beings have an obligation of acceptance, of registering this sexuation so that it produces all its effectiveness, like a birth notification.

The registration is a symbolic formality which makes what is recorded, opposable to everybody, including the one who registered himself  and who will have then no more recourse to a denial as : "I was not there". The recording leads to a full existence of what has been recorded.

A child who is not declared is supposed not to exist by the law.






     Man      or     Woman ?



Am I a man or a woman, when I am reading ?

...or a man or a woman or...


If I am one or the other, how can I establish a link with what I read


To be or not to be "a man or a woman"...

Who am I ?

Where am I ?

How can I read myself so that I will be able to read ?






Other web sites on Topology or mathematics

Other interesting web site on psychoanalysis  (

PLACE - Psychoanalysis Los Angeles California Extension

What is Lacanian psychoanalysis ?

How does Lacanian analysis address the question of mysticism ?

Is topology used as a model in psychoanalysis ?

What is a psychoanalytic position on  current DNA research and homosexuality ?


Some of our other pages :


Topological approach to the symbolic Sexuation, by Charley Supper

Another approach towards illiteracy

Joyce the Symptom : Conference given by J. Lacan in the large auditorium of the Sorbonne on the 16th of June, 1975

Illiteracy and Sexuation - (French Essai on illiteracy), by Charley Supper (Download)

How to read Lacan ?, by SLAVOJ ZIZEK

Topological approach to the symbolic Sexuation,  by Charley Supper

The Lost Topology of Psychoanalysis (La Topologie Perdue de la Psychanalyse) , by Robert Groome

What is "a cartel" in psychoanalysis ?

Recurso a las propuestas de Gottlob Frege,  by Luisa Matallana (Spanish text)

The topological Denouement of the cure, by Robert Groome

Invention of the concept of "Real" by Lacan, from Charley Supper

Frege's Predicate Calculus and Theory of Concepts (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)


Lacan's version of the Signifer

The Signifer "Europe"

The lying of illiteracy

Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus by Ludwig Wittgenstein

Illiteracy and Topology - Adam and Eve, by Charley Supper

Topology-Knots and Unknots

Illiteracy - Stop with warlike terminology !

Illiteracy and Globalisation by Charley Supper

Free Internet publications on education (Canadian)

El poder de la palabra vacia (The Power of the Empty Word). Hugo Calello y Susana Neuhaus - An analysis of the populist political discourse, supported by the disguisable plan regarding the ideology as language and by Adorno's idea of "empty word".  Text (in spanish only)

Knot theory

Iconicity and Metaphor in Sign Languages : Recent Studies by Sarah Lind

What is Psychoanalysis ?

What is Topology ?

Pas Tout Lacan : All the writtings of Lacan (in French) to download on "L'école lacanienne de Psychanalyse"

Illiteracy and topology definitions - The Guide of every days words and current English and French expressions













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