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Lax, R. (2003). The Daughter's Seduction by her Father is her Enticement into the Oedipal Phase. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 51(4):1305-1309.

(2003). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 51(4):1305-1309

Brief Communication

The Daughter's Seduction by her Father is her Enticement into the Oedipal Phase

Ruth Lax

The following is the well-known and generally accepted classical Freudian version of the beginning of the girl's oedipal drama:

Angry and bitter that her mother deprived her of a penis, the girl turns to her father, bestowing on him the love she has withdrawn from her mother. She does so hoping that her father will provide what her mother withheld. Consciously and unconsciously the girl fantasizes that her father will fulfill her wishes by giving her a penis, and that later he'll give her a baby.

Criticisms of Freud's position were expressed from the mid-twenties to the mid-thirties, notably by Jones (1922), Horney (1924), and Klein (1932), who maintained that there was an inborn biological drive that propelled girls to heterosexuality. They thus disagreed with Freud that it was penis envy and a sense of castration that turned the girl away from her mother and toward her father. Freud disregarded these and other sporadic disagreements with his views (Jacobson 1937 and Brunswick 1940, for instance).

I wish to present a position that differs radically from the classical Freudian view. Its significance rests on the fact that it is based on Freud's own statements that have not been repudiated by him.


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