Psychiatric Quarterly

, Volume 37, Issue 3, pp 518–526 | Cite as

A study of the psychoanalytic concept of castration anxiety in symbolically castrated amputees

  • William E. Block
  • Pierre A. Ventur


The purpose of this study was to investigate the concept of castration anxiety and syntactically related postulates of Freudian psychosexual theory. The importance of the study lies in the fact that castration anxiety is a central concept in Freudian theory, resulting in the subsidence of the Oedipal phase, the formation of the super-ego, ego development, and identification and preparation for the latency period. A group of symbolically castrated subjects (amputees) were compared with normal controls on certain castration anxiety indices of the Blacky Pictures. Within certain limitations involving the extrapolation of infantile phenomena to adulthood, presumptive evidence validating the castration anxiety concept was obtained. Presumptive validity was also demonstrated for the use of the Blacky Pictures in investigating psychoanalytic concepts.


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Copyright information

© The Psychiatric Quarterly 1963

Authors and Affiliations

  • William E. Block
    • 1
    • 2
  • Pierre A. Ventur
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Yeshiva UniversityNew York
  2. 2.Roslyn Public SchoolsRoslyn

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