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Rothschild, L. (1933). Sexuality: Ives Hendrick. 'Pregenital Anxiety in a Passive Feminine Character.' The Psycho-analytic Quarterly, 1933, Vol. II, No. 1, pp. 68–93.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 14:405-406.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Sexuality: Ives Hendrick. 'Pregenital Anxiety in a Passive Feminine Character.' The Psycho-analytic Quarterly, 1933, Vol. II, No. 1, pp. 68–93.

(1933). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 14:405-406

Sexuality: Ives Hendrick. 'Pregenital Anxiety in a Passive Feminine Character.' The Psycho-analytic Quarterly, 1933, Vol. II, No. 1, pp. 68–93.

Leonard Rothschild

A case is presented which serves to apply Freud's postulates of the importance of pre-oedipal sexuality in women to a certain type of male characterized by oral passivity to objects, narcissism and genital impotence that is refractory to psycho-analysis. The patient came for treatment because of chronic invalidism, complete inhibition of initiative and marked erotic dysfunction. Little evidence was found that real genitality had ever existed, and all the pregenital drives seemed all almost on a par. Apparently there had never been a complete fusion of pregenital desires into genital aims. The typical Oedipus phantasy brought out was a desire to urinate like his father. This was the one erotized form of aggressive instinct.

The problem of the analysis had to do with the inhibition of aggression. This was not solved by the conversion of the somatic complaints back into

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conscious anxiety again, for this proved to be on an oral basis (fear of father eating his penis). It was not until a group of unconscious phantasies concerned with hostility to the mother were worked through that castration fear became manifest in the conscious fear of the female genital and especially of something within it. The phantasies were of beating his mother's buttocks with a symbolic penis and were derived from biting impulses displaced from the breast as well as an attack on the pregnant abdomen. The nucleus of the neurosis was expressed according to the formula: 'I wish to kill with my penis in mother's vagina, I am afraid my penis will be eaten by the penis in there'. The aggressive component is actively present in the id, but inhibited as a defence against use of the penis as an instrument of destructive, largely oral, satisfaction. This is in agreement with the views of Melanie Klein as to the importance of a pre-oedipal phallic attitude to the mother.

The close identity of this patient's reaction to both father and mother is the source of the difference between this reaction and the homosexual solution to a fully cathected Oedipus situation. There did not seem to be a feature in the father reaction which was not quantitatively equated in the previous reaction to the mother. But this is one of the two ontogenetic features which Freud found to be characteristic of normal female development. The other, the pre-oedipal determination of character, is also present and is based on a persistent oral cathexis of the phallus which must be used passively because he dare not use it aggressively, leading in the end to a lasting defect in masculine identification.

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Article Citation

Rothschild, L. (1933). Sexuality. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 14:405-406

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