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Holtzman, D. Kulish, N. (1996). Nevermore: The Hymen And The Loss Of Virginity. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 44S(Supplement):303-332.

(1996). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 44S(Supplement):303-332

Nevermore: The Hymen And The Loss Of Virginity

Deanna Holtzman and Nancy Kulish

A major milestone in a woman's life is the loss of virginity, “defloration,” with the breaking of the hymen. Psychoanalysis has paid little attention to the meaning of defloration to either women or men, and virtually none to the hymen as a part of the female genitalia. The reasons for this disregard or avoidance are explored. Utilizing the few psychoanalytic writings, mythology, literature, and anthropological studies in addition to numerous clinical examples, the authors find that the unconscious meanings of the loss of virginity and the hymen emerge clearly. The common theme is that of negation, never, never again, never seen, known or named. Theoretical considerations regarding female sexuality are discussed. Technical implications for analyst-patient are presented.

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