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Bousfield, P. (1925). Freud's Complex of the Overestimation of the Male. Psychoanal. Rev., 12(2):127-150.

(1925). Psychoanalytic Review, 12(2):127-150

Freud's Complex of the Overestimation of the Male

Paul Bousfield

From the teaching of Freud himself, we know that the last of all complexes to be resolved and the ones which are most difficult to penetrate, are those which are associated with beliefs which have never been questioned, and which are charged with the highest emotion, in support of the ego-ideal and of Narcissism. We know also that such complexes can not only be denied, but that rationalization may play around them in such a way as to seize upon the flimsiest evidence in their favor by plausible unconscious manipulation.

While naturally admitting to the full the immense value of all Freud's work, without any idea of diminishing its importance in any way by criticism, one cannot help noticing from time to time points in that work, or in the work of his strict adherents which, it appears to me, may be of some import in the application of psychoanalysis to questions of social psychology and sociology, if they are allowed to pass without any challenge into the body of accepted beliefs. There are many signs that they are already doing so, and as every logician knows, if there be a flaw in the premises, the conclusions, however ingenious, may then be diametrically opposed to the actual facts.

I wish to examine in this paper a certain tendency which I believe is visible in several writers belonging to the strict Freudian school of analysts, whenever the subject of sex-differences is under consideration, and I wish first of all to examine that tendency chiefly in the writings of Freud himself.

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