Castration anxiety  

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Flying anuses, speeding vaginas, there is no castration -- Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari in A Thousand Plateaus

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Castration anxiety is an idea put forth by Sigmund Freud in his writings on the Oedipus complex; it posits a deep-seated fear or anxiety in boys and men said to originate during the phallic stage of sexual development. It asserts that boys, when seeing a girl's genitalia, will falsely assume that the girl had her penis removed, probably as punishment for some misbehavior. The boy then becomes anxious lest the same happen to him.

Castration Anxiety literally means the fear that one's penis will be cut off, but more profoundly it may symbolize the child's fear that he will, like Oedipus (see Oedipus Complex) lose his power (and his love object as well - ie. his mother). Thus the boy harbours an unconscious wish to kill the father.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Castration anxiety" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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