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Toronto, E.L. (1991). The Feminine Unconscious and Psychoanalytic Theory. Psychoanal. Psychol., 8(4):415-438.

(1991). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 8(4):415-438

The Feminine Unconscious and Psychoanalytic Theory

Ellen L. K. Toronto, Ph.D.

A primary feminine experience is presupposed. Our collective resistance to knowledge about such an experience is seen as arising out of a patriarchal world view which defines man as subject and woman either as maternal object of the child or sexual object of the man. The article addresses the impact of patriarchy and, particularly, male sexual aggression, on the developing female. The problems of collecting data about the femine unconscious, given the male bias of our theories, are also discussed. Finally, early and modern theories about the primary feminine experience are presented along with illustrative clinical material. Emphasis is placed on woman's reproductive and relational capabilities as well as on her development as a sexual individual, arising out of early and ongoing vaginal awareness.

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