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Jones, E. (1930). Inverse (Phallic) Inferiority. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 11:232-233.

(1930). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 11:232-233

Inverse (Phallic) Inferiority

Ernest Jones

Although in the great majority of cases phallic inferiority, when expressed symbolically, is expressed, as one would of course expect, in terms of some defective organ, the reverse of this sometimes happens. Perhaps the commonest example is that of a too large or prominent nose. Instead of the patient's complaining that he feels inferior because he has a weak chin, an undeveloped chest, feeble muscles and the like, he ascribes his inferiority as compared with other men to the fact of his nose being too large. We are so accustomed to this and find it so natural that it does not occur to us to regard it as a paradoxical exception to the usual rule whereby the defective penis is represented by an organ that is undeveloped. In rare cases, however, the paradox becomes so striking that it can no longer escape our attention and we have to make a thorough investigation of it. By chance it happens that I have at present two patients who show this feature in different ways. They are both men in the early twenties. One of them is greatly concerned because his chest is hairier than is usual and he fears that any woman who saw it exposed would thereupon doubt his virility. From this, and similar ideas, has proceeded a Don Juan type of behaviour, which is evidently designed to procure for him constant reassurance.

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