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What is Castration Anxiety?

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What is Castration Anxiety?

Castration anxiety is a psychological condition characterized by a feeling of fear and insecurity. It is often experienced by both sexes. The condition is associated with a person’s need to avoid dominance or emasculation.

Sigmund Freud first introduced the concept of the castration complex in 1908 in an article on the psychological development of boys. In that work, Freud elaborated on the connection between castration and the Oedipal conflict. Afterward, he extended this theory to both sexes.

According to Freud, the castration complex is a basic organizing stage in the mental life of an individual. It begins between ages three and five.

Freud believed that the threat of losing the penis made a man weak and emasculated. He believed that this fear was conveyed through seeing, understanding, and experiencing. Consequently, the libidininal tendencies of a boy are desexualized.

When a child discovers that his penis is ‘castrated,’ he experiences a sense of guilt for having been involved in the process. His rivalry to his father is repressed. Eventually, he feels a loss of identity and becomes angry at his mother.

The ‘castration complex’ is a phase of the Oedipal conflict, which a child undergoes to gain identification with the same-sex parent. This is a common scenario among boys. Usually, a young male’s libidinal tendencies are repressed and replaced with his identification with the father.

However, the castration complex can fail to develop. For instance, it can lead to a hysterical neurosis or obsessive neurosis.

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- Welcome, SoundTherapy.com lowers anxiety 86%, pain 77%, and boosts memory 11-29%. Click on the brain to sign up or share with buttons below to help others:

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