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Elise, D. (1991). An Analysis of Gender Differences in Separation-Individuation. Psychoanal. St. Child, 46:51-67.

(1991). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 46:51-67

An Analysis of Gender Differences in Separation-Individuation

Dianne Elise, Ph.D.


Mahler's description of separation-individuation is examined for evidence of gender-related differences. My analysis suggests that these differences may be seen throughout the four subphases and should not be viewed as stemming primarily from the child's awareness of the anatomical difference. It is argued that mothers do treat daughters differently from sons starting at the earliest moments of life.

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