Overview This is the fifth of the seven introductory lectures that Freud composed in As femininity is at issue here, Freud concentrates mainly on the woman question, and thus on the girl-child as subject, referring to men and the boy-child mainly as points of contrasts.
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This instinct is not simply an animal instinct but is specific to both human culture and the form of conscious and unconscious life we live within it. For Freud sexuality is infinitely complicated and far-reaching in its effects and forms the basis of self-identity and interactions.
His Third Essay discusses the transformations of puberty in both males and females. Part four of this essay focuses on the differentiation between male and female sexuality. Freud begins his discussion by noting that while it is true that masculine and feminine dispositions are already easily recognisable in childhood, it is not until puberty that a sharp distinction may be drawn between the two sexual characters.
Freud identifies in young girls a tendency to sexual repression to a Freud femininity essay degree than is found in little boys. Young girls also tend to develop inhibitions to sexuality, the negative repressive emotions such as shame, disgust and pity, at an earlier stage than little boys and submit to these emotions with less resistance.
According to Freud, little girls prefer the passive form of sexual gratification in relation to the compound erotogenic zones identified in infantile sexuality.
Having noted this, however, Freud contends that infantile autoerotic activity and the erotogenic zones are the same in both sexes. Therefore, sexuality in little girls and in little boys is essentially the same. He then states that the libido is invariably and necessarily of a masculine nature regardless of the sex in which it occurs and the object to which it is directed.
This can be understood to mean that instinct always initiates activity even if that activity is passive in nature. This is important to an understanding of the sexual manifestations that are actually observed in men and women.
|Notes on Freud's theory of femininity||The Freudian Riddle of Femininity Rooted in both clinical practice with patients and speculative attempts to apprehend and delineate foundational concepts, Freud's psychoanalysis aims to offer descriptions of psychical structures that underlie and account for individual experience in the variety of its empirical formations.|
|Psychoanalytic Feminism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)||Within his lecture he explains the various stages in the sexual development of the little girl starting in infancy. Freud states the importance of the pre-oedipal stage in girls which cannot be underestimated in its influence in the sexual maturation and growth into femininity.|
|A feminist response to Freud’s theory of femininity. – Kirsty Hawthorn||New Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis Freud,|
By stating that the auto-erotic and masturbatory sexual nature of little girls is of a wholly masculine nature, Freud is thus contending that the sexual nature of little girls is active, unlike the sexual nature of post-pubertal girls, which undergoes a kind of transformation to become predominantly passive.
Early masturbation in little girls is related to the clitoris and not to the external genitalia. Sexual excitement in little girls is expressed in spasms of the clitoris.
This allows, Freud states, the little girl to form a correct judgement of the sexual manifestations of the other sex.
It is at puberty that the sexual nature of girls becomes feminine, that is, passive or receptive. The clitoris retains a role in sexual excitement but its task is in transmitting the excitation to the adjacent female sexual parts and is not the primary sexual zone as experienced in boys.
Before women can transfer their leading zone from the clitoris to the external genitalia an interval must occur during which the young woman is anaesthetic, that is unresponsive sexually. This period occurs at the very time that the pubertal male libido is growing and seeking a sexual object.
The pubertal repression of females acts as a kind of stimulus to the libido of men and causes an increase in its activity. The repression of pubertal girls leads the male libido to a sexual overvaluation of its chosen object, which is unobtainable.
When a woman has successfully transferred the erotogenic zone from the clitoris to the vaginal orifice, it implies that she has adopted a new leading zone for the purposes of her later sexual activity. This is in contrast to the male erotogenic zone, which remains unchanged from childhood.
Freud notes that it is precisely this transference of leading erotogenic zone together with the wave of repression at puberty, which leaves females open to a greater susceptibility to neurosis and especially to hysteria.
It is these determinants, therefore, that Freud identifies as intimately related to the essence of femininity. In his lecture entitled Femininity, Freud comments on the difficulties of equating active sexual aims with masculinity and passive ones with femininity since both men and women can take up both positions — active or passive — towards any object of desire.
Given that Freud is discussing variances in the normal path of male and female sexual development and that he posits the innate bisexuality of all human beings, who possess varying degrees of active and passive qualities through to maturity, seems to require a more careful use of terminology and one less likely to create confusion and value judgements i.
The role of society and cultural custom in demanding the passive position of women, whereby repression of active sexuality in women is culturally acceptable, while conversely active sexuality is culturally frowned upon. The passive nature of post-pubertal feminine sexuality is not biologically determined but seems rather to be culturally influenced.
I am inclined to question the emphasis placed by Freud on the leading erotogenic zone as a stabilising factor of human identity. More essays like this:Freud is thus not the master of Irigaray's essay: his words do not so much determine her trajectory as reveal their own (freely) associative character, his own unmastery, the egoic and identificatory fantasies that haunt his texts on femininity.
This essay will explain the main features of Sigmund Freud’s Theory of Femininity (), focusing on the Pre-Oedipus and Oedipus complex, Castration complex and penis envy as the events which are the ‘natural’ process, according to Freud in ‘becoming’ feminine.
Strachey comments on Freud's protestations starting with the Three Essays that the sexual life of women is "veiled in an impenetrable obscurity" (SE 7, ; cf. [ID, SE 4, ; [On the sexual theories of children, SE 9, ]; [Introductory lectures #21]; [The question of lay analysis, SE 20, ]; cf.
Gilligan, ). Strachey comments on Freud's protestations starting with the Three Essays that the sexual life of women is "veiled in an impenetrable obscurity" (SE 7, ; cf. [ID, SE 4, ; [On the sexual theories of children, SE 9, ]; [Introductory lectures #21]; [The question of lay analysis, SE 20, ]; cf.
Gilligan, ). Freud is thus not the master of Irigaray's essay: his words do not so much determine her trajectory as reveal their own (freely) associative character, his own unmastery, the egoic and identificatory fantasies that haunt his texts on femininity.
The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund srmvision.comuctory Lectures on Psychoanalysis study guide contains a biography of Sigmund Freud, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and srmvision.come XXXIII: Femininity Fiorini, Leticia Glocer Ed Abelin-Sas Rose, Graciela Ed,