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Zavitzianos, G. (1971). Fetishism and Exhibitionism in the Female and their Relationship to Psychopathy and Kleptomania. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 52:297-305.

(1971). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 52:297-305

Fetishism and Exhibitionism in the Female and their Relationship to Psychopathy and Kleptomania

George Zavitzianos

In 'Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality' (1905), Freud stated that the selection of the fetish was determined by sexual traumatic experiences that occurred in childhood. Later he explained (1927), (1940) that the fetishist uses the fetish as a kind of screen memory in order to deny the perception of the female genitalia, i.e. the lack of penis. Such a perception produces in the fetishist intense castration anxiety which interferes with sexual gratification. The function of the fetish is actually to deny the perception of the female genitalia by substituting for the missing penis. A split of the ego results, which means that the fetishist develops a dual attitude; on the one hand, he retains in his mind the belief that the woman has a penis, while on the other hand, and at the same time, he is aware that she has not. The fetish, Freud said, is the 'token of triumph' over the danger of castration and a safeguard against homosexuality.

Abraham (1910), in presenting the analysis of a foot and corset fetishism, described the existence of polymorphous, perverse tendencies. Payne (1939) pointed out that in fetishism there exists a weakness in ego structure which predisposes to castration anxiety, and she emphasized the importance in this condition of oral sadism. She stated that the introjection of the fetish shows the longing for the good parents needed to protect the patient against anxiety and as an atonement for his wishes for their destruction.

Gillespie (1952) emphasized that fetishism is produced as a result of a partial regression which is primarily motivated by castration anxiety.

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