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Mann, D. (1994). Castration Desire. Brit. J. Psychother., 10(4):511-520.

(1994). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 10(4):511-520

Castration Desire

David Mann

This paper introduces the idea of castration desire: the desire to lose the penis to strengthen identification with the mother, to deny difference and thereby maintain the phantasy of fusion. Castration desire is therefore linked to the regressive part of the personality that seeks to avoid differentiation. In this context, castration anxiety is seen as a later development that actively promotes separation and individuation from the mother. These issues are explored using clinical and mythological examples.

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