Castration Complex

(893 words)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

The castration complex is the primary figure under which Freud understands the internalisation of sexual difference. It first appears in his essay “On the Sexual Theories of Children” (1908) and thus precedes and underlies the later formulation of the Oedipus Complex, which appears in his “Contributions to the Psychology of Love” in 1910. In the 1908 essay Freud posits the idea, based on his case history of “Little Hans” (published in 1909), that the young boy perceives the possession of the penis as the “normal” condition and his sister’s lack of a penis as a defect. Because as this stage the female genitalia are not apparent, the girl child is also disposed to see herself as lacking the …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are not a subscriber, please click here to read about membership. All our articles have been written recently by experts in their field, more than 95% of them university professors.

Citation:
Clark, Robert. "Castration Complex". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 22 October 2005
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=1601, accessed 28 July 2014.]


Related Groups

  1. Psychoanalysis