Why Mrs. Robinson? The Seduction of Teen-age Boys by Women in Classic Films

Drs. Colarusso and Cohen will select sequences from three among many classic films that explore the theme of such seduction:  The Graduate (1968), The Last Picture Show (1971), and The Reader (2008). The focus will be on the dynamics of the women seducers, comparing and contrasting their motivations. By providing psychoanalytic developmental theory on the young-adult and midlife development of women, a theoretical framework will emerge for a deeper understanding of their motivation.


Friday, October 11, 2013 - 7:30pm to 9:30pm
7:00 PM - Registration/Wine & Cheese



4455 Morena Boulevard, Suite 202
San Diego, CA 92117
United States
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Free for SDPC Members
$25 for Non-members
$15 for Students

Educational Objective(s)

  • Describe some of the major developmental and dynamic themes and tasks that are at the core of female development in adulthood, particularly middle adulthood, ages 35-65.
  • Formulate the psychodynamic bases of mid-adulthood behaviors of women that lead them to seduce teenage boys.
  • Show how the representation of sexual relationships between mid-adult women and teenage boys has changed from 1956 to the present, as a way to orient psychodynamic treatment approaches for this population.
  • Articulate the role of culture in the psychodynamically understood fantasies of individuals who engage in sex across generations.

Presenter Information

Note: Dr. Colarusso’s recent paper on several such films and Dr. Cohen’s book chapter on The Reader will not be read but distributed to registrants.

An authority in the field of development, Dr. Colarusso is a board-certified Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego. He is also a Training and Supervising Analyst in child and adult psychoanalysis at the San Diego Psychoanalytic Center and an internationally known lecturer to students, professional, and the general public on many aspects of normal and pathologic development. His books have been published in English, Korean, and Spanish. He has published over 50 articles in peer-reviewed journals.

Dr. Cohen is a Professor of Film Studies and Comparative Literature at the University of California, San Diego and a graduate in adult psychoanalysis from the San Diego Psychoanalytic Center. He has published many articles applying psychoanalytic theory to film.