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Fenichel, O. (1943). A Contribution to the Study of Fetishism: W. H. Gillespie. Int. J. Psa., XXI, 1940, pp. 401–415.. Psychoanal Q., 12:433-434.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: A Contribution to the Study of Fetishism: W. H. Gillespie. Int. J. Psa., XXI, 1940, pp. 401–415.

(1943). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 12:433-434

A Contribution to the Study of Fetishism: W. H. Gillespie. Int. J. Psa., XXI, 1940, pp. 401–415.

Otto Fenichel

Freud has shown that the fetish represents the penis of the mother and that fetishism in principle, like every perversion, is rooted in the castration complex,

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while its aim is that of denying the possibility of castration. This theory certainly does not exclude the possibility that the special forms of the castration fear and the defenses against them are determined in a much earlier, i.e. pregenital, phase. In fact the significance of pregenital factors in fetishism have been stressed by various authors.

Gillespie asks, 'Is fetishism primarily a product of castration anxiety, to be related almost exclusively to the phallic phase, and concerned to maintain the existence of a female penis; or does the main dynamic force really come from more primitive levels, which undeniably contribute to give its ultimate from to the fetish?' However, after a detailed description and discussion of a very interesting case history of a uniform fetishist, Gillespie also arrives at the conclusion that the problem should not be put as 'either—or'. He says, 'I would suggest that fetishism is the result of castration anxiety, but of a specific form of castration anxiety, a form produced by a strong admixture of certain oral and anal trends'. According to him, the pregenital function of the fetish is seen in the fact that the fetish tries to protect the introjected objects against the dangers of the patient's sadism.

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Article Citation

Fenichel, O. (1943). A Contribution to the Study of Fetishism. Psychoanal. Q., 12:433-434

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