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Lax, R.F. (1997). Boys’ Envy of Mother and the Consequences of This Narcissistic Mortification. Psychoanal. St. Child, 52:118-139.

(1997). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 52:118-139

Boys’ Envy of Mother and the Consequences of This Narcissistic Mortification

Ruth F. Lax, Ph.D.

From the many threads that form the matrix of male psycho-sexual development, this paper considers and examines only the narcissistic injury caused by the boy's realization that he will never attain mother's femaleness and procreative capacity. Although both boys and girls envy and covet mother's powerful bounty, there is a fundamental experiential difference between the sexes in that the girl can take comfort in her knowledge that, being like mother, she will mature to attain mother's female attributes. The boy, however, when he learns and acknowledges that he is different from mother, must recognize that his wish to attain mother's procreativity is doomed to fail. This fact evokes in him a painful narcissistic mortification that, usually inadequately repressed, may have lifelong consequences.

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