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Tyson, P. (1989). Infantile Sexuality, Gender Identity, and Obstacles to Oedipal Progression. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 37:1051-1069.

(1989). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 37:1051-1069

Infantile Sexuality, Gender Identity, and Obstacles to Oedipal Progression

Phyllis Tyson, Ph.D.


Contrary to when it was first proposed, infantile sexuality nowadays is accepted as an important part of child development. However, Freud's views on masculine primacy and feminine inferiority are seen to be incomplete and inaccurate not only because they overemphasize sexuality and sexual anatomy, but also because they neglect aggression, object relations, ego and superego functioning, and the sense of self. Infantile sexuality is therefore reconsidered within the broader perspective of gender identity. Within this broader perspective, normal and aberrant sexual development is discussed, and new ideas are offered about familiar concepts such as castration anxiety and penis envy.

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