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Lorand, S. (1939). Rôle of the Female Penis Phantasy in Male Character Formation. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 20:171-182.

(1939). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 20:171-182

Rôle of the Female Penis Phantasy in Male Character Formation

Sandor Lorand

An artist past forty, of established reputation, had the following dream in the course of his treatment:

I am walking in the red-light district, seeking a prostitute. Some approach me, walking on the opposite side of the street, but obviously going elsewhere, so that I cannot ask one to come with me. I go on. In front of a house stands a bearded man who lifts up his dress and shews me that he has a vagina. The hair is pasted on. … I get very desirous but feel it is not right, I ought to go on and find a woman; but I am afraid of being seen.

Another patient, a professional man aged thirty-five, who was in treatment because of his sexual and character difficulties, related this dream in the latter stage of analysis: 'You (referring to the analyst) are bawling me out, saying I think very little of women, think they are inferior. Then you change into a woman—this is not quite clear—with whom I have intercourse.'

These dreams are cited as paradigms of the characteristic behaviour of certain patients, their social as well as their sexual attitudes. I refer to those patients one frequently sees, who have retained the phantasy of a female-penis so long that it has exerted a profound influence upon their lives. The specific elements in the dreams, as the figure of the man with a vagina who attempts to seduce the patient after he finds the way to women barred, or the analyst transformed to a woman with whom the patient has sexual relations—these are the subjects to be emphasized in this paper. For not only do patients of this type endow women with a phallus in order to avoid castration anxiety; they also attribute to men a female genital (or at least decidedly feminine traits) and for the same purpose.

Certain typical behaviour problems recur in the difficulties of these patients. Their attitudes towards women shew sexual, towards men, social maladjustment. They seem unable to endure frustration and use every means to avoid it by trying to make those men who are their superiors socially, in the family, or at work, behave leniently and indulgently to them.

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