One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
(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.’
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