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Gender Development Essay

1678 words - 7 pages

Freud makes a claim for the formation of femininity through his explanation of psychical development during child sexuality. He explains that he does not wish to give an account for who a women is but only how she becomes feminine from her bisexual tendencies. Freud femininity theory raises speculation since develops it within the context of masculinity. He claims a girl’s turning point in her sexuality is when she realizes she has been castrated and develop a penis envy. This raises concerns since it automatically places the male, at least the male organs, at a hierarchal advantage. Nevertheless, Freud’s theory can be justify within a social-psychological perspective, considering a girl is ...view middle of the document...

According to Freud, when the girl discovers that the boy as a penis, the girl’s “self-love is mortified by the comparison with the boy’s far superior equipment and in consequence she renounces the masturbatory satisfaction from her clitoris” (126). She develops a castration anxiety, where she feels inferior to the boy since she feels like he can get more pleasure from his penis. Therefore, little girls develop penis envy when they discover they are biologically different than boys and have to switch their zone of eroticism in order to become feminine.
In addition to switching the zone of eroticism, girls must also switch their object of love in order to achieve femininity from their mothers to their fathers. According to Freud, all children first object of love is their mother. The mother is the first caretaker as well as the first, unintentional, seducer of the child. Since “a child’s demands for love are immoderate, they make exclusive claims and tolerate no sharing”, the child develops hostility toward the mother when she is not completely dedicated to the child (123). The first instance of hostility comes when the mother stops breastfeeding the child. Freud claims, that the hostility is not about nourishment but instead that the child’s loss of the mother’s breaths creates a pain he or she cannot get over. The second reproach comes if the mother as a second child, the first child loses some maternal signs of care, since the mother as to provide care for the second child, which leave the child “grievance against the faithless mother” (123). The child feels like they have lost the love from their mother. A third hostility comes from the restriction the mother places on the child to control his libido desires during the phallic phase, or when she prohibits the child’s masturbation. The child develops the “disappointment in love, the jealousy, [and] the seduction followed by prohibitions” (124). Since boys also experience this hostility and do not turn them away from their mothers, Freud further develop his theory of penis envy for the creation of femininity. When girls realize that they do not have a penis, they “hold their mother’s responsible for their lack of the penis and do not forgive her for being thus put at a disadvantage” (60 A little girl comes to a turning point when she discovers she is castrated and she follows one of three different tracks. One track leads to either neurosis or sexual inhibition, another to a masculinity complex, and the thirds to normal femininity. Then girls turn away from their mother as their object of love and replace them with their father, developing the Oedipus complex. This realization of castration switches the girl’s pre-Oedipus complex from desiring their father since he has a penis. If the psychical development of femininity follows a normal track, the little girl must desire to carry her father’s child. Therefore, little girl become femininity requires her development of penis envy so that she...

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