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According to Sigmund Freud and psychoanalytic theory, what is "penis envy"?
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In his Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis (1933), Sigmund Freud expanded upon his earlier Interpretation of Dreams in terms of the importance of genitalia in emotional development and in understanding the psychological structure of human beings. In Interpretation of Dreams, Freud posited that the key to understanding the meaning of dreams was to interpret dreams in terms of sexual identification and repressed sexual desires. Every facet of dreams, according to Freud, lent themselves to some sort of sexual representation. In that groundbreaking work from the turn of the 20th Century, the famed psychoanalyst suggested that even clothing represented sexual identify:
“Of articles of dress, a woman's hat may very often be interpreted with certainty as the male genitals. In the dreams of men, one often finds the necktie as a symbol for the penis; this is not only because neckties hang down in front of the body, and are characteristic of men, but also because one can select them at pleasure, a freedom which nature prohibits as regards the original of the symbol.”
In perhaps the most referenced, and most misused quotation from Freud’s study, he applied weaponry to genitalia in a manner that would resonate for the foreseeable future:
“All complicated machines and appliances are very probably the genitals - as a rule the male genitals - in the description of which the symbolism of dreams is as indefatigable as human wit. It is quite unmistakable that all weapons and tools are used as symbols for the male organ: e.g., ploughshare, hammer, gun, revolver, dagger, sword, etc.”
The subject of “penis envy” is an extension of Freud’s psychoanalytic approach to human thought. In his Introductory Lectures, he suggested that during the first few years of a child’s life, he or she is preoccupied with the mother, with perhaps a suggestion of Oedipal influences present. By the age of three, however, children become increasingly aware of their gender distinctions and girls begin to gravitate towards the father because he has a penis, in obvious contrast to the mother, and represents authority and strength. As he stated, "Girls hold their mother responsible for their lack of a penis and do not forgive her for their being thus put at a disadvantage." Thus was born the theory of “penis envy.” Girls interpret authority in terms of the possession of a penis, and regret that they were born without one.
Posted by kipling2448 on March 4, 2014 at 4:37 PM (Answer #1)
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