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Sachs, H. (1929). One of the Motive Factors in the Formation on the Super-Ego in Women. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 10:39-50.

(1929). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 10:39-50

One of the Motive Factors in the Formation on the Super-Ego in Women

Hanns Sachs

The material from which I have derived the impressions and gleaned the facts which I propose to put before you in this paper has a certain peculiarity: it is not a mixture of various different feminine types, but, as is natural in that my work is to train analysts, it consists almost exclusively of women who had adopted so-called 'masculine' professions or were preparing to do so, and who were undoubtedly not only above the average in intelligence, but whose characters also had attained a considerable degree of development. Possibly this fact may be regarded as a source of error, and you may be inclined to surmise that what I have taken to be feminine characteristics are really masculine qualities not to be found amongst women in general, but only in women of this special type. To this objection I would reply that, in selecting my material, I have taken into consideration only those amongst the women I have analysed in whose nature and mode of life there was nothing markedly masculine and in whom there was no considerable departure from the norm of the modern civilized human being; either in the form of a neurosis or perversion or, above all, in the degree of their unconscious homosexuality. I have laid special stress on the fact that the love-life of the women whom I have in mind was, in every instance, characterized by normal feminine affective reactions. So I think I am justified in assuming that the peculiar nature of my material is not to be regarded as a source of error, but rather that it affords a specially good opportunity—a better one than usually falls to the lot of other analysts—for studying the feminine super-ego in subjects in whom it is better developed and therefore more open to investigation than in neurotics or even in the average normal woman.

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