Sigmund Freud on Femininity

Topics: Sex organ, Sexual intercourse, Penis Pages: 3 (1322 words) Published: December 5, 2013
Freud, in his New Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis, argues that there is ambivalence between daughters and their mothers and attempts to explain the cause of the ambivalence. By ambivalence he means a love/hate relationship in which the actor has opposing feelings for an object simultaneously. The source of the ambivalence is embedded in the process of feminization that girls undergo. I gathered that it is the product of two separate psychical changes that girls undergo. I will first explain these two changes then attempt to expound on how they combine to produce the mixed feelings the girl has for her mother. The first of these changes is the emergence of the girl’s castration complex. Freud states that analysts have uncovered that as infants, girls are extremely similar to boys in terms of their sexuality. He says that analysts have been “obliged to recognize that the little girl is a little man” (New Intro Lectures pg 146). Byt this he means that girls carry out their infantile masturbation of teir equivalent to a penis and they hold their mother as an object of sexual desire. Freud thinks that humans begin their sexual life at birth. As such, infants participate in sexual thought and activity, particularly what he calls infantile masturbation. He thinks too that the main object of the infant’s sexual desires is the mother in both sexes then later the father for girls. The fact that the girl has to change the love object while the boy retains his is one of two additional developmental processes that Freud claims girls have to undertake. The second additional process is that of changing her main erotogenic zone from her clitoris to her vagina (pg. 147). It is Freud’s opinion that in the phallic stage the girl first encounters the male sexual organ. She compares it to her own and realizes that her organ (the clitoris) is inferior to that of the little boy. She at first thinks that this is a personal shortcoming and her attachment to her mother is unfazed....
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