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Van Ophuijsen, J.H. (1924). Contributions to the Masculinity Complex in Women. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 5:39-49.

(1924). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 5:39-49

Contributions to the Masculinity Complex in Women Language Translation

J. H.W. Van Ophuijsen

In his essay on 'Some Character-Types met with in Psycho-Analysis, ' Freud writes:

'As we learn from our psycho-analytic work all women feel that they have been injured in their infancy, and that through no fault of their own they have been slighted and robbed of a part of their body; and the bitterness of many a daughter towards her mother has as its ultimate cause the reproach that the mother has brought her into the world as a woman instead of a man.' These lines came to my notice at the very moment when my attention had been directed in a small sequence of cases to a particular form of reaction to the complex referred to, and when I believed that in one case I also had determined some of the conditions of its origin. In the following paper I will give an account of my conclusions.

The type of reaction with which we are concerned is, in common with the castration complex in women, founded on a belief in the possibility of possessing a male genital organ. The chief difference between the two lies in the fact that a consciousness of guilt belongs to the castration complex. The loss, the damage, or the faulty development of the genital organ is supposed to be the result of wrong-doing, often punishment for a sexual lapse. The feeling of guilt is absent in the cases of which I shall speak here—not always, of course, completely, but the feeling of having been ill-treated and the consequent reaction of bitterness is in all very strongly developed. In view of this second group of cases, in which the protest (which seeks to make up for the want) is predominant, I propose to introduce the term masculinity complex.

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