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(1962). Revue Française De Psychanalyse. XXV, 1961: Castration as Negation of Femininity. Conrad Stein. Pp. 221-242.. Psychoanal Q., 31:139.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Revue Française De Psychanalyse. XXV, 1961: Castration as Negation of Femininity. Conrad Stein. Pp. 221-242.

(1962). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 31:139

Revue Française De Psychanalyse. XXV, 1961: Castration as Negation of Femininity. Conrad Stein. Pp. 221-242.

The overvaluation of the penis is characteristic of a developmental phase during the phallic period in the course of which the penis is considered to be the only genital. The only possible alternatives are the possession of a phallus or a castrated state; the existence of the female genital is totally denied. At this stage the phallus constitutes a part object and is strongly identified with the breast. The process of identification with a part object is intermediate between the narcissistic identification and the identification with the total object; it represents a way of establishing an object relationship 'at a distance' so that any possibility of fusion with the total object is eliminated. Thus, by overvaluating the penis, the individual reassures himself about his own identity and protects himself against the danger of fusion with the object and of return to a relationship of primary narcissistic identification. The denial of femininity and the fantasy of the phallic mother are, in Stein's opinion, the outgrowth of the same defensive need.

The author gives a brief clinical illustration of the points raised and discusses the implications of his views in terms of transference and countertransference problems.

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Article Citation

(1962). Revue Française De Psychanalyse. XXV, 1961. Psychoanal. Q., 31:139

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