Similarly, the naturalization of sex that accompanied its modernization tended to welcome Freud’s drive theory and its corresponding invention of a sexually responsive infant and child, even when much of the other baggage of psychoanalytic theory was rejected. Viewing sexuality as a biologically ordered developmental process allowed for the introduction of a language of sexual behavior that seemed to be independent of the specific meanings necessary for its expression beyond childhood; it defined a sexuality that need not have immediate social or emotional meanings.

The surviving illusions of childhood’s essential innocence allowed for scientific discourse on the sexual to occur without involving heavily charged erotic meanings. As a result, an emotional distance was created that gave credibility to the objectification of sexual behavior, which, in turn, could be described as resembling biological systems like the digestive process.