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Devereux, G. (1957). The Awarding of a Penis as Compensation for Rape—A Demonstration of the Clinical Relevance of the Psycho-Analysis Study of Cultural Data. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 38:398-400.

(1957). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 38:398-400

The Awarding of a Penis as Compensation for Rape—A Demonstration of the Clinical Relevance of the Psycho-Analysis Study of Cultural Data

George Devereux, Ph.D.

It is proposed to discuss a previously unreported infantile-mythological theory of the female penis fantasy.

The Lapiths were a legendary horse-taming tribe, whose epic combat with the Centaurs is frequently mentioned in Greek literature, especially in connection with the legend of Theseus.

One of the most important Lapith chiefs was Kaineus, who—like Teiresias—had once also been a woman, at which time he bore the name of Kainis, which is the feminine form of Kaineus. Kainis was raped by Poseidon, who then offered to make restitution for this act by granting any request which she cared to make. Kainis chose to ask that she might be changed into a man and made invulnerable, so that no one might again be able to rape her. Her wish was granted and she became the man Kaineus.

The chieftain Kaineus, however, became noted for his impiety. He refused to worship anything except his spear.

Zeus, incensed by such impiety, incited the Centaurs to assault Kaineus during the battle which erupted at Peirithous' wedding, after a Centaur almost raped the bride. They had to kill invulnerable Kaineus by hitting him on the head with fir logs, driving him into the ground like a stake and then piling the logs on top of him until Kaineus suffocated. A sandy winged bird—identified by Mopsus as Kaineus' soul—then flew away from the pile of logs. When Kaineus' corpse was about to be buried, it was found that it was that of a woman. This suggests that—like some primitive 'kings'—Kaineus was a woman in disguise; a hypothesis possibly strengthened by the fact that Kaineus was one of the Argonauts—a group which also included one other masculine female: Atalanta of Calydon, whose father had wanted a son and not a daughter.

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