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Jones, E. (1927). The Early Development of Female Sexuality. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 8:459-472.

(1927). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 8:459-472

The Early Development of Female Sexuality

Ernest Jones

Freud has more than once commented on the fact that our knowledge of the early stages in female development is much more obscure and imperfect than that of male development, and Karen Horney has forcibly, though justly, pointed out that this must be connected with the greater tendency to bias that exists on the former subject. It is probable that this tendency to bias is common to the two sexes, and it would be well if every writer on the subject kept this consideration in the foreground of his mind throughout. Better still, it is to be hoped that analytic investigation will gradually throw light on the nature of the prejudice in question and ultimately dispel it. There is a healthy suspicion growing that men analysts have been led to adopt an unduly phallo-centric view of the problems in question, the importance of the female organs being correspondingly underestimated. Women have on their side contributed to the general mystification by their secretive attitude towards their own genitals and by displaying a hardly disguised preference for interest in the male organ.

The immediate stimulus to the investigation on which the present paper is mainly based was provided by the unusual experience, a couple of years ago, of having to analyse at the same time five cases of manifest homosexuality in women. The analyses were all deep ones and lasted from three to five years; they have been completed in three of the cases and carried to a far stage in the other two.

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