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(1959). The Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 12, 1957. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 40:369-370.

(1959). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 40:369-370

The Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 12, 1957

Gabriel Casuso, M.D., D.Psych. (London.) With an Introduction by Anna Freud, LL.D. (London). 'Anxiety Related to the Discovery of the Penis, An Observation.' Pp. 169–174.

A week after a 10-month-old child had stood alone for the first time, he discovered his penis with signs of intense fear. This experience was repeated and gave way only to reassurance from the mother's touching his penis and linking it by gesture with his other body parts. A fortnight later, having already accepted his penis apparently as part of himself, he showed intense interest in his urination which followed a period of masturbation with pleasure. Though erections had been observed when his mother was engaged in cleaning him, masturbation did not produce observed erection. During the next two months pleasure in being washed and powdered by his mother produced outbursts of laughter and any interference with masturbation made him angry. He began to walk the length of the playpen on his first birthday.

At the age of 16 months, there has been no further sign of fear concerning his body, although fascination reappeared in connexion with the discovery of his knees and toes. Erections began to appear in connexion with masturbation at about 13 months. The author recalls that fear of the big bathtub preceded the first observation by about one month.

This observation is linked with a similar one by Loewenstein (1950), where however anxiety was less apparent. 'Perhaps the explanation for this difference could be sought along the lines of the timing (which is probably variable in each individual) of the discovery of the penis in relation to the discovery of other parts of the body which leads to the infant's formation of his concept of body image.

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