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(1960). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. VI, 1958: The Effect of Shedding the First Deciduous Tooth Upon the Passing of the Oedipus Complex of the Male. Harvey A. Lewis. Pp. 5-37.. Psychoanal Q., 29:424.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. VI, 1958: The Effect of Shedding the First Deciduous Tooth Upon the Passing of the Oedipus Complex of the Male. Harvey A. Lewis. Pp. 5-37.

(1960). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 29:424

Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. VI, 1958: The Effect of Shedding the First Deciduous Tooth Upon the Passing of the Oedipus Complex of the Male. Harvey A. Lewis. Pp. 5-37.

Lewis's major hypothesis is that the shedding of the first deciduous tooth is a biological event at the height of the Oedipal period and that, because it is so easily associated with castration, it plays an important role in the solution of the Oedipus complex, at least in the male. Many data from folklore substantiate this. The rituals associated with loss of the first tooth are basically associated with castration anxiety. Freud noted the association of the loss of the first tooth occurring at six with the resolution of the Oedipus complex and the basically biological nature of this resolution. The case of the Rat Man is especially relevant. Three of Lewis's cases, all male, illustrate the resolution of the Oedipus complex occurring in close relation to the loss of the first tooth. Repression of the Oedipal wishes occurs then and this also bears a relation to the beginning of formal education at age six, which is the beginning of continuous memory also. Behind this secondary repression of Oedipal feeling at six, when the milk tooth is shed, is the primary repression which may well begin at six months when the eruption of the first tooth occurs. Thus a close association is postulated between these biological processes of eruption and shedding of teeth and the primary and secondary repressions of childhood.

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Article Citation

(1960). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. VI, 1958. Psychoanal. Q., 29:424

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