The American Journal of Psychoanalysis

, Volume 27, Issue 1–2, pp 163–183 | Cite as

Karen Horney on feminine psychology

  • Harold Kelman


In this series of papers Horney's evolving ideas on feminine psychology are reflected, her differences with Freud are defined and the emergence of her own views on the theory and practice of psychoanalysis are noted. While developing her ideas, those aspects of her holistic philosophy and the positive aspects of her approach to psychoanalysis were present, operating and maturing. Having confronted Freud's male-oriented psychology with her own on so-called female psychology, the way had been prepared for a philosophy, psychology and psychoanalysis of whole persons, living, being and interacting with changing environments which had their impact on them, which they in turn influenced.

I feel a study of Horney's papers on feminine psychology is an invitation and an opportunity to accompany a woman of wisdom and experience on a voyage of discovery and creation while searching for better ways to alleviate human suffering. The closing sentence ofNeurosis and Human Growth31 fittingly convey the spirit, the method and the efforts displayed in these papers and in her whole life's work: “Albert Schweitzer uses the terms ‘optimistic’ and ‘pessimistic’ in the sense of ‘world and life affirmation’ and ‘world and life negation’. Freud's philosophy, in this deep sense, is a pessimistic one. Ours, with all its cognizance of the tragic element in neurosis, is an optimistic one.”


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


Feminine psychology Table of Contents

  1. I.
    On the Genesis of the Castration Complex in Women. Int. J. Psychoanal., V, Part 1, 50–65, 1924. (Zur Genese der weiblichen Kastrationskomplexes. Inter. Zeitschr. f. Psychoanal. IX:12–26, 1923.)Google Scholar
  2. II.
    The Flight from Womanhood. Int. J. Psychoanal., VII:324–339, 1926. (Flucht aus der Weiblichkeit. Intern. Zeitschr. f. Psychoanal. XII:360–374, 1926.)Google Scholar
  3. III.
    Inhibited Femininity. Psychoanalytic Contributions to the Problems of Frigidity. (Gehemmte Weiblichkeit. Psychoanalytischer Beitrag zum Problem der Frigidität. Zeitschr. f. Sexualwissenschaft. XIII:67–77, 1926–27.) (Translated from the German.)Google Scholar
  4. IV.
    The Problem of the Monogamous Ideal. Int. J. Psychoanal., IX:318–331, 1928.Google Scholar
  5. V.
    Premenstrual Tensions. (Die prämenstruellen Verstimmungen. Zeitschr. f. Psychoanal. Pädagogik, V:1–7, 1931.) (Translated from the German.)Google Scholar
  6. VI.
    The Distrust between the Sexes. (Das Misstrauen zwischen den Geschlechtern. Die Ärztin, VII:5–12, 1931.) (Translated from the German.)Google Scholar
  7. VII.
    Problems of Marriage. (Zur Problematik der Ehe. Psychoanal. Bewegung. IV:212–223, 1932.) (Translated from the German.)Google Scholar
  8. VIII.
    The Dread of Women. Observations on a Specific Difference in the Dread Felt by Men and by Women Respectively for the Opposite Sex. Int. J. Psychoanal., XIII:348–360, 1932. (Die Angst vor der Frau. Über einen spezifischen Unterschied in der männlichen und weiblichen Angst vor dem anderen Geschlecht. Intern. Zeitschr. f. Psychoanal. XVIII:5–18, 1932.)Google Scholar
  9. IX.
    The Denial of the Vagina. A Contribution to the Problem of the Genital Anxieties Specific to Women. Int. J. Psychoanal., XIV:57–70, 1933. (Die Verleugnung der Vagina. Ein Beitrag zur Frage der spezifisch. weiblichen Genitalangst. Intern. Zeitschr. f. Psychoanal. XIX:372–384, 1933.)Google Scholar
  10. X.
    Psychogenic Factors in Functional Female Disorders. Am. J. Obs. & Gyn., XXV:694–703, 1933.Google Scholar
  11. XI.
    Maternal Conflicts. Am. J. Orthopsych., III:455–463, 1933.Google Scholar
  12. XII.
    The Overvaluation of Love. A Study of a Common Present-Day Feminine Type. Psychoan. Quart., 111:605–638, 1934.Google Scholar
  13. XIII.
    The Problem of Feminine Masochism. Psychoan. Rev., XXII:241–257, 1935.Google Scholar
  14. XIV.
    Personality Changes in Female Adolescents. Am. J. Orthopsych., V:19–26, 1935.Google Scholar
  15. XV.
    The Neurotic Need for Love. (Das neurotische Liebesbedürfnis. Zentrabl. f. Psychother., X:69–82, 1937.) (Translated from the German.)Google Scholar

Other References

  1. 1.
    Freud, S.: An Autobiographical Study. London: Hogarth Press, 1936, 133, 132.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Horney, K.: The Technique of Psychoanalytic Therapy. (Die Technik der psychoanalytischen Therapie.) Zeitschr. f. Sexualwissenschaft. IV:6–18, 1917.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Oberndorf, C. P.: Obituary, Karen Horney. Int. J. Psychoanal., XXXIV, Part II, 1953.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Freud, S.: Moses and Monotheism. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1939; Vintage Books, 1955.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Powdermaker, H.: Stranger and Friend, The Way of an Anthropologist. New York: W. W. Norton, 1966, 303.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Kelman, H.: Psychoanalysis: Some Philosophical Trends. In, Frontiers of Psychoanalysis, Ed., J. Marmor. New York: Basic Books, 1967, Abridged Version.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Kuhn, T. S.: The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Chicago, Ill.: The University of Chicago Press, First Phoenix Edition, 1964, p. 159.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Fromm, E.: Sigmund Freud's Mission. New York: Harper & Bros., 1959.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Alexander, F. and Selesnick, S. T.: The History of Psychiatry. New York: Harper & Row, 1966, 186, 187.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Freud, S.: The Complete Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis. New York: W. W. Norton, 1966, 645.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Kelman, H.: Psychoanalysis and the Study of Etiology: A Definition of Terms. In, The Etiology of the Neuroses. Ed., J. H. Merin. Palo Alto, Calif.: Science and Behavior Books, 1966, 141–148.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Weaver, W.: Confessions of a Scientist-Humanist. Saturday Review, May 28, 1966, 12–15.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Horney, K.: Biography. In, Current Biography, Vol. 11, No. 8, 27–29, (August) 1941, New York: H. W. Wilson Company.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Abraham, K. and Mosbacher, E.: The Letters of Sigmund Freud and Karl Abraham, 1907–1026, New York: Basic Books, 1965. Karl Abraham: In, Psychoanalytic Pioneers by Alexander, F., Eisenstein, S., and Grotjahn, M., Eds. New York: Basic Books, 1966.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Sachs, H.: Freud, Master and Friend. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1946; Sachs, H.: In, Psychoanalytic Pioneers. Cf. 14 above.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Deutsch, H.: Psychology of Women, Vols. I and II. New York: Grune & Stratton, 1945. In, Psychoanalytic Pioneers. Cf. 14 above.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Greenson, R. R.: The Classic Psychoanalytic Approach. In, The American Handbook of Psychiatry. Ed., S. Arieti. New York: Basic Books, 1959, Ch. 69, 1399–1416.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Kelman, H. and Vollmerhausen, J. W.: On Horney's Psychoanalytic Techniques, Developments and Perspectives. In, Psychoanalytic Techniques, Ed., B. B. Wolman. New York: Basic Books, 1967.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Munroe, R. L.: Schools of Psychoanalytic Thought. New York: The Dryden Press, 1955, 458.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Horney, K.: The Neurotic Personality of Our Time. New York: W. W. Norton, 1937, Ch. VII.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Horney, K.: New Ways in Psychoanalysis. New York: W. W. Norton, 1939, Ch. X.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Fine, R.: Freud: A Critical Re-evaluation of His Theories. New York: David McKay Publishing. Tartan Paperback, 1962, Ch. V.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Freud, S.: The Infantile Genital Organization of the Libido (1923). Collected Papers, Vol. II. London: Hogarth Press, 1933, 247.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Zilboorg, G.: Male and Female. Psychiatry, VII, 275–296, 1944.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Bose, G.: Bose-Freud Correspondence. Samiksa, 10, 1935. Letter of April 11, 1929. See also Bose Special Number, Samiksa, 1955.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Singh, K.: The Women of India. The New York Times Magazine, March 13, 1966.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Freud, S.: Some Psychological Consequences of the Anatomical Distinction between the Sexes. Collected Papers, Vol. V. London: Hogarth Press, 1956, 191, 196, 197.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Abraham, K.: Manifestations of the Female Castration Complex. In, Selected Papers of Karl Abraham. London: Hogarth Press, 1927, 339.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Mead, M.: Male and Female. New York: William Morrow, 1949.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Bettelheim, B.: Symbolic Wounds, Puberty Rites and the Envious Male. New York: Collier Books, BS554, 1962, 22, 19, 150.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Horney, K.: Neurosis and Human Growth. New York: W. W. Norton, 1956, 19.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Freud, S.: Female Sexuality (1931). Collected Papers, Vol. 4, London: Hogarth Press, 1956, 254, 271–2, 269, 258.Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Freud, S.: Analysis Terminable and Interminable (1937). Collected Papers, Vol. V, London: Hogarth Press, 1956, 355–357.Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Freud, S.: An Outline of Psychoanalysis. New York: W. W. Norton, 1949. Introductory Note, 29, 107.Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Freud, S.: The Sexual Enlightenment of Children (1907). Collected Papers. Vol. II, London: Hogarth Press, 1933, 36–44.Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Horney, K.: Our Inner Conflicts. New York: W. W. Norton, 1945, 48, 49.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis 1967

Authors and Affiliations

  • Harold Kelman

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations