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Abraham, K. (1922). Manifestations of the Female Castration Complex. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 3:1-29.

(1922). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 3:1-29

Manifestations of the Female Castration Complex

Karl Abraham

The psychological phenomena which we ascribe to the so-called castration complex of the female sex are so numerous and multiform that even a detailed description cannot do full justice to them. These questions are made still more complicated by their relations to biological and physiological processes. The following investigation, therefore, does not pretend to present the problem of the female castration complex in all its aspects, but is limited to the purely psychological consideration of material gathered from a wide field of clinical observation.


Many women suffer temporarily or permanently, in childhood or in adult age, from the fact that they have been born female. Psycho-analysis further shows that a great number of women have repressed the wish to be male; we come across this wish in all products of the unconscious, especially in dreams and neurotic symptoms.

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