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Pelaccio, J. (1996). Masturbation Fantasies In A Prelatency Girl: Early Female Body Fantasy Conflicts As A Major Determinant In The Experience Of Primary Femininity. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 44S(Supplement):333-350.

(1996). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 44S(Supplement):333-350

Masturbation Fantasies In A Prelatency Girl: Early Female Body Fantasy Conflicts As A Major Determinant In The Experience Of Primary Femininity

Jack Pelaccio

Material from a child-analytic case is presented demonstrating the way in which a girl created erotic fantasies from her understanding of bodily sensations and used those fantasies in masturbation. The material shows how analysis of early fantasies of this nature helps us to understand and follow a line of development of primary femininity in which core conflicts involving urethral sphincter, periurethral, and bladder sensations combine with genital area sensations in the creation of anxiety over fears of genital injury. The clinical implication of anxiety as the dominant affect early in female development in this case is discussed.

The concept of primary femininity has gained wide acceptance in the psychoanalytic community. From an ego psychology perspective most would readily agree that a girl's sense of herself as female is rooted in her experience of her body. While few would eschew this preeminent importance of a girl's normal experience of conflict and anxiety inherent in the discovery of her female body, many analysts still view the impact on development by these conflicts of primary femininity to be less dramatic and intense than a girl's preoccupation with the desire to have a penis and coming to terms with depressive feelings at lacking one, i.e., the phallic castration complex. Others feel that the aforementioned tenets are not mutually exclusive. Renik (1992) and Mayer (1995) posit two separate lines of development that contribute to the attainment of female gender identity.

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