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Holtzman, D. Kulish, N. (2003). The Femininization of the Female Oedipal Complex, Part II: Aggression Reconsidered. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 51(4):1127-1151.

(2003). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 51(4):1127-1151

Scientific Papers

The Femininization of the Female Oedipal Complex, Part II: Aggression Reconsidered

Deanna Holtzman and Nancy Kulish

This paper examines and explores the manifestations of aggressive impulses in the so-called female oedipal complex. The authors describe how competitive aggression on the part of young girls, seemingly missing in children's stories and myths, is unconsciously inhibited, disguised, or externalized. They report similar phenomena in women patients involved in triangular conflicts, and present a selected review of the literature on the inhibition of aggression within the female triangular situation. Stressing dynamic patterns in the object relationships in the female triangular situation, the authors offer a psychological explanation for this inhibition. They present clinical material to demonstrate how overt murderous and competitive aggression toward the mother appears after considerable analytic work. They conclude that girls and women frequently relinquish a sense of agency over both aggression and sexuality in dealing with triangular conflicts, to preserve a safe relationship with their mothers.

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