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(1956). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXVI, 1955: On Castration Anxiety. M. Woolf. Pp. 95-104.. Psychoanal Q., 25:611-612.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXVI, 1955: On Castration Anxiety. M. Woolf. Pp. 95-104.

(1956). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 25:611-612

International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXVI, 1955: On Castration Anxiety. M. Woolf. Pp. 95-104.

In libidinal development, the castration complex plays a role secondary only to the Oedipus complex, but many of its details are undelineated. Freud stated that the masculine castration complex results when castration threats for masturbation and bedwetting fuse with the discovery of the female genital. Forerunners of the complex occur in weaning and in toilet training (separation from feces). How does separation anxiety change into castration anxiety? The latter cannot be considered a realistic anxiety: it is separation anxiety displaced onto the penis, the mechanism of phobias. If this is correct, the statement that the Oedipus complex succumbs to the threat of castration cannot be valid. The castration complex

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is a phobic state, representative of primary separation anxiety. For the little girl, the fantasy of castration as punishment for masturbation represses further clitoral masturbation, inducing passivity and sexual fears. The castration phobia, unlike other phobias, fails to ease the conflict; it poses the dilemma, 'to face the loss of the object, or to be castrated'.

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Article Citation

(1956). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXVI, 1955. Psychoanal. Q., 25:611-612

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