Advertisement

Early Origins of Envy and Devaluation of Women

Implications for Sex-Role Stereotypes
  • Harriet E. Lerner

Abstract

Psychoanalysts have long believed that penis envy is central to the understanding of women and have invoked this concept to explain everything from a woman’s desire for a husband and child to her strivings to work and compete in traditionally masculine fields. Those outside psychoanalytic circles have shown less enthusiasm for such explanations—particularly members of the Women’s Liberation Movement who angrily protest that women have cause to be envious of men’s position in society for reasons other than their possession of the desired penis. Certain psychoanalysts have, in turn, insisted that the Women’s Liberation Movement is itself a manifestation of penis envy and that discontent with the female role is a psychiatric problem.

Keywords

Good Mother Love Relationship Narcissistic Injury Maternal Figure Feminine Quality 
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.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Baumrind, Diana: From Each According to Her Ability. School Rev. 80 (2): 161–97, 1972.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bettelheim, Bruno: The Commitment Required of a Woman Entering a Scientific Profession in Present-Day American Society. In Women and the Scientific Professions: The M.I.T. Symposium on American Women in Science and Engineering, J. A. Mattfield and C. G. Van Aken, eds. Cambridge, Mass.: M.I.T. Press, 1965, pp. 3–19.Google Scholar
  3. Brunswick, R. M.: The Preoedipal Phase of the Libido Development. Psychoanal. Q. 9: 293–319, 1940.Google Scholar
  4. Chasseguet-Smirgel, Janine: Feminine Guilt and the Oedipus Complex. In Female Sexuality: New Psychoanalytic Views, Janine Chasseguet-Smirgel et al., Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1970, pp. 94–134.Google Scholar
  5. Chesler, Phyllis: Women and Madness. Garden City, N. Y.: Doubleday & Co., 1972.Google Scholar
  6. David, Christian: A Masculine Mythology of Femininity. In Female Sexuality: New Psychoanalytic Views, Janine Chasseguet-Smirgel et al. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1970, pp. 47–67.Google Scholar
  7. Fairbairn, W. R. D.: An Object-Relations Theory of the Personality. New York: Basic Books, 1952.Google Scholar
  8. Freud, Sigmund (1909): Analysis of a Phobia in a Five-Year-Old Boy. Standard Edition 10: 3–149, 1955.Google Scholar
  9. Freud, Sigmund (1918): From the History of an Infantile Neurosis. Standard Edition 17: 3–122, 1955.Google Scholar
  10. Freud, Sigmund (1925): Some Psychological Consequences of the Anatomical Distinction Between the Sexes. In Collected Papers, Vol. 5, James Strachey, ed. London: Hogarth Press, 1950.Google Scholar
  11. Goldberg, Philip: Are Women Prejudiced against Women? Trans-action 5 (5): 28–30, 1968.Google Scholar
  12. Homey, Karen: The Dread of Women. Int. J. Psychoanal. 13: 348–60, 1932.Google Scholar
  13. Jung, C. G.: Contributions to Analytical Psychology, H. G. and C. F. Baynes, trans. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul Limited, 1928.Google Scholar
  14. Kernberg, Otto: Barriers to Being in Love. Unpublished manuscript, The Menninger Foundation, 1972.Google Scholar
  15. Klein, Melanie: Envy and Gratitude. New York: Basic Books, 1957.Google Scholar
  16. Lederer, Wolfgang: The Fear of Women. New York: Grune & Stratton, 1968.Google Scholar
  17. Lerner, Harriet: The Hysterical Personality: A “Women’s Disease.” Compr. Psychiatry 15 (2): 157–64, 1974.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Lynn, D. B.: Determinants of Intellectual Growth in Women. School Rev. 80 (2): 241–60, 1972.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Mandelbaum, Arthur: Separation. Menninger Perspective 4(5): 5–9, 27, 1973.Google Scholar
  20. Symonds, Alexandria: Discussion (of Ruth Moulton’s paper, “Psychoanalytic Reflections on Women’s Liberation”). Contemp. Psychoanal. 8:224–28, 1971–72.Google Scholar
  21. Torok, Maria: The Significance of Penis Envy in Women. In Female Sexuality: New Psychoanalytic Views, Janine Chasseguet-Smirgel et al. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1970, pp. 135–70.Google Scholar
  22. Young, Enid: A Review of Feminine Psychology. Unpublished manuscript, University of California at Berkeley, 1973.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Menninger Foundation 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • Harriet E. Lerner

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations