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Fogel, G.I. (1998). Interiority and Inner Genital Space in Men: What Else Can be Lost in Castration. Psychoanal Q., 67(4):662-697.

(1998). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 67(4):662-697

Interiority and Inner Genital Space in Men: What Else Can be Lost in Castration

Gerald I. Fogel, M.D.

The author reassesses castration anxiety in men in light of advances in psychoanalytic theory. Castration anxiety arises when any crucial part of mature psychic life is threatened. As in women, oedipal-level and adult male psychic functioning contains powers rooted in the body-mind that are distinct from those we designate as phallic. The author struggles for a comparable word to represent devalued aspects of higher-level development that are primary, “feminine,” essential for psychic mastery, and threatened by loss, i.e., by castration. Defining this aspect of mental life is difficult, but it includes receptivity, groundedness, connectedness to self and others, and tolerance of ambiguity. Without access to this interior and more ambiguous continent, a man is castrated, less than whole. Clinical examples are provided.

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