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Some Suggested Revisions Concerning Early Female Development

  • Eleanor Galenson
  • Herman Roiphe
Part of the Women in Context book series (WICO)

Abstract

The tentative and culturally biased early formulations of female sexual development by the founder of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, are well publicized and are often popularly thought to be THE psychoanalytic theory of female development. They are criticized both for confusing the consequences of cultural pressure with innate feminine disposition and for giving scientific validation and enhancement to those cultural pressures. There is, however, more to be said both about Freud and about psychoanalytic theories of feminine development. Freud, for all his patriarchial Viennese Victorian biases and his phallocentrism, took women’s sexual life seriously. He learned psychoanalysis from listening to women patients, acknowledged and deplored the repressive forces operating against women’s full development, and provided a treatment that supported women’s efforts to free themselves from repressive forces (rather than the other current treatmerits by surgical means, which ranged from removing the offending organ, “the hyster” or uterus, to clitoridectomy, to dictatorial and imprisoning “rest cures”, to coercive morality).

Keywords

Sexual Identity Genital Area Genital Arousal Psychosexual Development Psychoanalytic Study 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eleanor Galenson
    • 1
  • Herman Roiphe
  1. 1.Mount Sinai School of MedicineNew YorkUSA

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