Definition of penis envy in English:

penis envy


mass nounPsychoanalysis
  • Supposed envy of the male's possession of a penis, postulated by Freud to account for some aspects of female behaviour (notably the castration complex) but controversial among modern theorists.

    • ‘The female phallic stage is not simply and negatively arrested at the level of penis envy, as Freud thought; a daughter may be used just as well as a son by the mother for narcissistic completion.’
    • ‘By shifting the blame we ended up with the theories of penis envy for women, and castration anxiety for men.’
    • ‘There is doubt about penis envy and castration anxieties being the major contributing factor to the development of perversion.’
    • ‘It's not too difficult to detect themes about phallic power, penis envy, castration fears, and a miscellaneous collection of heterosexual and homosexual issues.’
    • ‘Now before we all start harping on about penis envy, let's keep in mind that Freud says every dream is the fulfillment of a disguised wish.’