Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To see author affiliation information in an article…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

To see author affiliation and contact information (as available) in an article, simply click on the Information icon next to the author’s name in every journal article.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Buxbaum, E. (1960). Hair Pulling and Fetishism. Psychoanal. St. Child, 15:243-260.

(1960). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 15:243-260

Hair Pulling and Fetishism

Edith Buxbaum, Ph.D.

Hair pulling as a symptom occurs in both children and adults. Very little has been written about it in the psychoanalytic or psychiatric literature. May E. Romm's paper, "Some Dynamics in Fetishism" (1949), touches on this problem. In contrast, quite a number of psychoanalytic papers deal with the problem of fetishism; among them, following Freud, those by Phyllis Greenacre. Freud's theory (1927) that the fetishist reacts to seeing the mother's genitals and to observing her apparent castration at a time of masturbatory arousal is basic to psychoanalytic thinking on the subject. Phyllis Greenacre deals with the problem of fetishism in two papers, "Certain Relationships Between Fetishism and the Faulty Development of Body Image" (1953), and in "Further Considerations Regarding Fetishism" (1955). She described fetishism as a disturbance which appears

clinically as an unusually severe castration fear [that] comes essentially from disturbances of pregenitality which render the child structurally unsound and insecure to meet genital-oedipal problems and especially to meet the normal castration threats of this period. In those cases which I saw these threats were already overwhelming, having appeared before the full oedipal development in unusually severe actual traumata of a specifically castrative type—threats not merely by seeing the mother's genital and observing her apparent castration at the time of special masturbatory arousal, as was first postulated by Freud (1927), but much more than this by witnessing or experiencing bloody mutilating attacks in the form of operations (on the self or others), childbirth, abortions, or accidents [1955p. 187].

She thinks that the child is particularly vulnerable when he is exposed to such experiences between the first and second year. This conception of fetishism seems to me to be incomplete.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2021, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.