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Farrow, E.P. (1945). On the View that Repressed Fear of Severance of the Genitalia is Solely Caused by External Reality and is not Inherited. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 26:161-168.

(1945). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 26:161-168

On the View that Repressed Fear of Severance of the Genitalia is Solely Caused by External Reality and is not Inherited

E. Pickworth Farrow

The writer's self-analysis, which has now been continued for approximately 3, 000 hours, spread over a period of 23 years (Farrow, 1925) (and 1942), indicates very strongly indeed that the fundamental natural reaction of the small boy, in early childhood, towards the genitalia is one of great pride in the possession of them. He thinks (apparently instinctively) that they are a very important part of his body and that it is quite impossible that they should be cut off.

This feeling was so very strong in the writer's case that he feels quite sure that the genital-severance complex in the male is always acquired by threats from external reality. He finds it difficult to believe that other people's minds can be so different from his own as a difference in this respect would imply.

In view of this attitude on the part of the small boy, when the extremely common cutting-off threats are made as a means of preventing the early childhood tendency towards exhibitionism (which results apparently from the above-mentioned internal pride) the threats normally have to be very severe before they take effect. Then the fright is usually so great that it is normally completely repressed in the mind, and is apt to have a very deleterious effect upon the individual's mind and life ever afterwards, unless the injury is subsequently reached and repaired by psycho-analysis.


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