Phallic Oathpenis Holding

PHALLUS THEORY.

PHALLUS THEORY. The French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan (1901-1981) formulated the phallus theory according to which the phallus/penis is a symbol of desire where the Freudian Oedipal complex is revised to involve a conflict between "being" versus "not being" a phallus (or "having" versus "not having" a phallus), and where it plays a different role in the desires of each of the three parties (child, mother, and father) of the complex (cf., phallic oath/penis holding - according to anthropological evidence, this refers to the swearing of an oath, or a greeting, accompanied by one's own hand on one's own penis or testicles, or on someone else's penis, as a sign of respect and/or a gesture of solemnity). The erect phallus/penis is considered, traditionally, as a symbol of masculinity, potency, or generation (cf., the term linga, which is the Hindu equivalent for the phallus and is manifested in the phallic image of the Hindu god Shiva). According to Freudian theory, during the phallic stage of psychosexual development, libido/sexual energy is focused on the child's genital organs, but the child, whether male or female, is cognizant of only the male organ and the difference between the sexes is interpreted simply as "phallic" versus "castrated." It is during the phallic stage, also, that the castration complex predominates whereas the Oedipus complex flourishes and then dissolves. According to Freudian "penis envy" -which is a key aspect of female psychology and originates in a girl's discovery of the anatomical differences between the sexes - the female child comes to feel deprived because she has no penis and, later during the Oedipal phase, she develops a desire, theoretically, for a penis which is manifested symbolically as a desire to have a child or to possess a penis during the act of sexual intercourse. See also FREUD'S THEORY OF PERSONALITY. REFERENCES

Freud, S. (1905). Three essays on the theory of sexuality. In The standard edition of the complete psychological works of Sigmund Freud. London: Hogarth Press.

Freud, S. (1924). The dissolution of the Oedipus complex. In The standard edition of the complete psychological works of Sigmund Freud. London: Hogarth Press. Freud, S. (1925). Some psychical consequences of the anatomical distinction between the sexes. In The standard edition of the complete psychological works of Sigmund Freud. London: Hogarth Press. Georgin, R. (1977). Lacan: Theorie et pratiques. Lausanne: Editions L'Age d'homme.

Lacan, J. (1982). Feminine sexuality. New York: W. W. Norton.

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