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Boehm, F. (1930). The Femininity-Complex in Men. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 11:444-469.

(1930). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 11:444-469

The Femininity-Complex in Men

Felix Boehm

As early as 1915, when the third edition of the Drei Abhandlungen zur Sexualtheorie appeared, Freud remarked in a footnote: 'This [observation] shows that in human beings there is no such thing as pure masculinity or pure femininity, either in the psychological or the biological sense. On the contrary, we find in every individual a combination of the characteristics of his or her sex, as biologically determined, with biological traits belonging to the other sex and a blending of activity and passivity, not only in so far as these psychic characteristics depend on the biological but also where they are not so dependent.'

In the Ego and the Id Freud says: 'This is one of the ways in which bisexuality takes a hand in the subsequent vicissitudes of the Oedipus complex. The other way is even more important. For one gets the impression that the simple Oedipus complex is by no means its commonest form, but rather represents a simplification or schematization which, to be sure, is often enough adequate for practical purposes. Closer study usually discloses the more complete Oedipus complex which is twofold, positive and negative, and is due to the bisexuality originally present in children: that is to say, a boy has not merely an ambivalent attitude towards his father and an affectionate object relation towards his mother, but at the same time he also behaves like a girl and displays an affectionate feminine attitude to his father and a corresponding hostility and jealousy towards his mother.

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