Definition of castration complex in English:

castration complex


  • (in Freudian theory) an unconscious anxiety arising during psychosexual development, represented in males as a fear that the penis will be removed by the father in response to sexual interest in the mother, and in females as a compulsion to demonstrate that they have an adequate symbolic equivalent to the penis, whose absence is blamed on the mother.

    • ‘I don't hate men, I don't blame men, I don't have some great throbbing castration complex swilling about in my pretty little head.’
    • ‘She crystallizes the paradox of ‘the traumatic moment’ of desire's birth - the castration complex, because she represents sexual difference.’
    • ‘It's really only an unresolved castration complex.’
    • ‘Access to language comes about through the castration complex and the recognition of sexual difference.’