The Early Development of Female Sexuality : 1st September 1927 (Innsbruck) : Ernest Jones

by Julia Evans on September 1, 1927

Read at the Tenth International Congress of Psycho-Analysis, in Innsbruck, on 1st September 1927

Published

International Journal of Psycho-Analysis (IJPA) : vol viii : 1927 : p 459-472

Ernest Jones : Papers on Psycho-Analysis : Fifth Edition : 1948 : p238-451

La Psychanalyse : Vol 7 : 1964 : To accompany Guiding Remarks for a Congress on Feminine Sexuality : 1958 [Presented in Amsterdam, 5th September 1960] : Jacques Lacan : Information and details from here

Available at www.LacanianWorksExchange.net  /authors by date or authors a-z

Cited by Jacques Lacan

Seminar IV, 5th December 1956 : See Seminar IV : The Object Relation & Freudian Structures 1956-1957 : begins 21st November 1956 : Jacques Lacan or here for further information and notes on this session

Paragraph 10 of Seminar IV : 9th January 1957 : See Seminar IV : The Object Relation & Freudian Structures 1956-1957 : begins 21st November 1956 : Jacques Lacan or here 

Seminar IV : 27th February 1957 : Paragraph 50 : see Seminar IV : The Object Relation & Freudian Structures 1956-1957 : begins 21st November 1956 : Jacques Lacan  or here,  Para 50 : For let us not forget that after all, the little boy’s phallus is not much more robust than the little girl’s, and this, naturally, has been noted by good authors. Jones nonetheless noticed that Karen Horney was siding with his opponent – in this case, Freud. 

P460-461 of Jones : Freud has justly remarked in connection with the pregenital precursors of castration (weaning and defæcation, pointed out by Stârcke and myself respectively) that the psycho-analytical concept of castration, as distinguished from the corresponding biological one, refers definitely to the penis alone – the testicles at most being included in addition. 

p77 of Jacqueline Rose’s translation of The Meaning (or Signification) of the Phallus (Munich): 9th May 1958 : Jacques Lacan  or here : Quote : if only for the starting premise on which he constructs his argument, signalled by the term aphanisis, which he himself coined. For by correctly posing the problem of the relationship between castration and desire, ….. : Jones used the Greek term “aphanisis” to refer to the “total, and of course permanent, extinction of the capacity (including opportunity) for sexual enjoyment”;

see p461 of this text : Quote : For the main blow of total extinction we might do well to use a separate term, such as the Greek word ‘aphanisis’.

If we pursue to its roots the fundamental fear which lies at the basis of all neuroses we are driven, in my opinion, to the conclusion that what it really signifies is this aphanisis, the total, and of course permanent, extinction of the capacity (including opportunity) for sexual enioyment. After all, this is the consciously avowed intention of most adults towards children. Their attitude is quite uncompromising: children are not to be permitted any sexual gratification. And we know that to the child the idea of indefinite postponement is much the same as that of permanent refusal. We cannot, of course ,expect that the unconscious, with its highly concrete nature, will express itself for us in these abstract terms, which admittedly represent a generalization. The nearest approach to the idea of aphanisis that we meet with clinically is that of castration and of death thoughts (conscious dread of death and unconscious death wishes). I may cite here an obsessional case in a young man which illustrates the same point, He had substituted as his summum bonum the idea of æsthetic enjoyment for that of sexual gratification, and his castration fears took the form of apprehension lest he should lose his capacity for this enjoyment, – behind them being of course the concrete idea of the loss of the penis.

So maybe, for Jones, the fear of aphanisis is more fundamental than that of castration in both sexes, castration being only a “special case” of aphanisis in boys.

Seminar IV : 27th February 1957 : Paragraph 50 : see Seminar IV : The Object Relation & Freudian Structures 1956-1957 : begins 21st November 1956 : Jacques Lacan  or here   http://www.lacanianworks.net/?p=11980

Para 50 : For let us not forget that after all, the little boy’s phallus is not much more robust than the little girl’s, and this, naturally, has been noted by good authors. Jones nonetheless noticed that Karen Horney was siding with his opponent – in this case, Freud. 

P460-461 of Jones : Freud has justly remarked in connection with the pregenital precursors of castration (weaning and defæcation, pointed out by Stârcke and myself respectively) that the psycho-analytical concept of castration, as distinguished from the corresponding biological one, refers definitely to the penis alone – the testicles at most being included in addition. 

Para 5 : Seminar IV : 6th March 1957  : And first among them, for example Ernest Jones – you will notice it, if you read his works – never managed to overcome the difficulties of getting a handle on the castration complex as such. He tried to formulate a term unique to him. But to be sure, like everything that is introduced in the analytic community, made its way in and made waves. This notion, specific to him and cited mainly by English authors, is ‘aphanisis’ [Greek ϕάνισις, to disappear].

Jones cites ‘aphanisis’ on p461, p462, p463, p467, p468, p470, p472.

Seminar VI, 7th January 1959 : p84 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation, www.LacaninIreland.com  : In the course of a re-reading of Mr. Jones that I was carrying out recently, I took up again everything that he wrote about ……. ; what he brings forward at every moment from his very subtle, very direct experience is very striking.

I could relate cases of a number of male patients whose failure to achieve manhood – in relation to either men or women – was strictly to be correlated with their attitude of needing first to acquire something from women, something which of course they never actually could acquire.

“Why?” asks Mr. Jones. And when he says why in his article and in its context it is a real why, he does not know why, but he notes it, he punctuates it as a point on the horizon, an opening, a perspective, a point at which guide-rails are lacking.

Why should imperfect access to the nipple give a boy the sense of imperfect possession of his own penis? I am quite convinced that the two things are intimately related, although the logical connection between them is certainly not obvious. (The phallic phase, 580).

In any case not obvious to him.

At every moment we find these details in the most graphic phenomenology. I mean the necessary sequences through which a subject slips, in order to arrive at the full activity of his desire, the preliminaries which are necessary for him

 Further information Seminar VI: Desire and its interpretation: 1958-1959 : from 12th November 1958 : Jacques Lacan or here

Seminar VIII

 See Seminar VIII : Transference : 1960-1961 : Begins 16th November 1960 : Jacques Lacan or here 

Seminar VIII : 12th April 1961 : p198-199 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation, www.LacaninIreland.com :  Are we not spelling out things correctly in dwelling on something which experience – I mean the problems which experience gives

rise to for us – in a way really proposes habitually for us. I already noted before you what is articulated in Jones’ writings, in a certain need to explain the castration complex, in the notion of aphanisis, a common Greek term put on the agenda in the articulation of Freud’s analytic discourse, and which means disappearance. It is a question of the disappearance of desire and of the fact that what is in question in the castration complex is supposed to be, in the subject, the fear given rise to by the disappearance of desire.

…[Speaks of Analysis of a single dream : 1937 : Ella Sharpe See here] …   The meaning of what is in question on this occasion is this thing that I highlighted which is that, far from the fear of aphanisis being projected as one might say into the image of the castration complex, it is on the contrary the necessity, the determination of the signifying mechanism which, in the castration complex in most cases pushes the subject, not at all to fear aphanisis but on the contrary to take refuge in aphanisis, to put his desire in his pocket. Because what analytic experience reveals to us, is that something is more precious than desire itself: to preserve its symbol which is the phallus. This is the problem which is proposed to us.

p201  I ended what I taught you in connection with the dream of Ella Sharpe with these words: “This phallus” – I said, speaking about a subject caught up in the neurotic situation which is more exemplary for us in so far as it was that of aphanisis determined by the castration complex – “this phallus, is and is not. This interval – to be and not to be – the tongue allows us to perceive in a formula where the verb to be slides: ‘he is not without having it, (il n’est pas sans 1’avoir)’. It is around this subjective assumption between being and having that the reality of castration operates. In effect, the phallus” – I then wrote – “has a function of equivalence in the relationship to the object: It is in proportion to a certain renunciation of the phallus that the subject enters into possession of the plurality of objects which characterise the human world. In an analogous formula, one could say that the woman ‘is without having it, (est sans 1’avoir), which can be experienced very painfully in the form of Penisneid” – but which, I am adding this to the text, is also a great force. “This is what Ella Sharpe’s patient does not consent to see: he ‘shelters’ the signifier phallus….” and I concluded: “No doubt there is something more neurotogenic than the fear of losing the phallus, it is not to wish that the Other should be castrated.”

Seminar VIII : 26th April 1961 : p221-222 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation : I spoke somewhere, specifically in my Rome report [See The Function and Field of Speech and Language in Psychoanalysis (Rome) : 26th September 1953 : Jacques Lacan  or here], about what I designated as being backed up against the wall of language. Nothing is more difficult than to bring the obsessional to the point of being backed up against the wall of his desire.

Because there is something which I do not know whether it has really been highlighted and which nevertheless is a very illuminating point, I will take it up in order to illuminate the term of which you know I have already made one use, the term introduced by Jones in a fashion whose ambiguities I have marked, aphanisis, disappearance – as you know this is the meaning of the word in Greek – disappearance of desire.

People have never it seems to me highlighted this thing which is so simple, and so tangible in the stories of the obsessional, especially in his efforts when he is on a certain path of autonomous research, of self-analysis if you wish, when he situates himself somewhere on the path of his research which is (7) called the realisation of his phantasy in some form or other, it seems that people have never dwelt on the function which is quite impossible to avoid of the term aphanisis. If it is employed, it is because there is a quite natural and ordinary aphanisis which is limited by the power that the subject has of what can be called holding, holding an erection. Desire has a natural rhythm and, before even evoking the extremes of the incapacity of holding, the most disturbing forms of the brevity of the act, one can remark the following: what the subject has to deal with as an obstacle, as a reef where literally something which is profoundly fundamental about his relationship to his phantasy is shipwrecked, is properly speaking what there is when all is said and done in him about always terminating, the fact is that, as regards the erection then the collapse of desire, there is a moment when the erection vanishes.

p222-223 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation : If therefore there is in the obsessional this fear of aphanisis that Jones underlines, it is precisely in the measure and uniquely in the measure that it is the testing, which always turns into a defeat, of this ^ (big phi) function of the phallus as we are trying for the moment to approach it. In a word, the result is that the obsessional when all is said and done dreads nothing more than that to which he imagines he aspires, the liberty of his acts and his deeds, and the natural state if I can express myself in this way. The tasks of nature are not his strong point, nor indeed anything that leaves him sole master on (8) board, if I may express myself in this way, with God, namely the extreme functions of responsibility, pure responsibility, what one has vis-a-vis this Other in whom there is inscribed what we are articulating.

And, I am mentioning it in passing, this point which I am designating is nowhere better illustrated than in the function of the analyst, and very properly at the moment when he articulates the interpretation. You see that in the course of my remarks today that I am ceaselessly inscribing, correlatively to the field of experience of the neurotic, the one that analytic action very specially uncovers for us, in so far as necessarily it is the same because this is where “you have to go at it”.

See Seminar VIII : Transference : 1960-1961 : Begins 16th November 1960 : Jacques Lacan or here 

Seminar XI : 27th May 1964 : p208 of Alan Sheridan’s translation : In a quite different way, I have called this movement the fading of the subject.  See Seminar XI: The Four Fundamental Concepts: 1963-1964 : beginning 15th January 1964 : Jacques Lacan or here 

Seminar XI : 4th June 1964 is a session where Jacques Lacan further explores aphanisis.  p216-229 of Alan Sheridan’s translation, titled The Subject and the Other – Aphanisis.  See Seminar XI: The Four Fundamental Concepts: 1963-1964 : beginning 15th January 1964 : Jacques Lacan or here 

Commentary

Seminar VI : 3rd June 1959 : Ernest Jones & the term castration complex by Julia Evans on 16th April 2014 or here

References to Freud

P460-461 : Freud has justly remarked in connection with the pregenital precursors of castration (weaning and defæcation, pointed out by Stârcke and myself respectively) that the psycho-analytical concept of castration, as distinguished from the corresponding biological one, refers definitely to the penis alone – the testicles at most being included in addition. : No exact reference to Freud given.

Possibly

Three Essays on Sexuality : 1905 : Sigmund Freud : SEVII p123-245, Published at www.Freud2Lacan.com see here 

Essay II Infantile Sexuality, 

Section [5] The sexual researches of childhood : p113 of James Strachey’s translation, Vol 7 of pfl : Quote : CASTRATION COMPLEX AND PENIS ENVY

Quote : This conviction is energetically maintained by boys, is obstinately defended against the contradictions which soon result from observation, and is only abandoned after severe internal struggles (the castration complex). The substitutes for this penis which they feel is missing in women plays a great part in determining the form taken by many perversions. The assumption that all human beings have the same (male) form of genital is the first of the many remarkable and momentous sexual theories of children. It is of little use to a child that the science of biology justifies his prejudice and has been obliged to recognize the female clitoris as a true substitute for the penis.

And/or

Section [6] The phases of development of the sexual organization : Pregenital organization :

p116-117 of James Strachey’s translation, Vol 7 of pfl :

Quote : We shall give the name of ‘pregenital’ to organizations of sexual life in which the genital zones have not yet taken over their predominant part. We have hitherto identified two such organizations, which almost seem as though they were harking back to early animal forms of life.

The first of these is the oral or, as it might be called, cannibalistic pregenital sexual organization. Here sexual activity has not yet been separated from the ingestion of food; nor are opposite currents within the activity differentiated. The object of both activities is the same; the sexual aim consists in the incorporation of the object – the prototype of a process which, in the form of identification, is later to play such an important psychological part. A relic of this constructed phase of organization, which is forced upon our notice by pathology, may be seen in thumb-sucking, in which the sexual activity, detached from the nutritive activity, has substituted for the extraneous object one situated in the subject’s own body.[1] [p1224]

1 [Footnote added 1920:] For remnants of this phase in adult neurotics, cf. Abraham (1916). [Added 1924:] In another, later work (1924) the same writer has divided both this oral phase, and also the later sadistic anal one, into two sub-divisions, which are characterized by differing attitudes towards the object.

And/or

From p14 – the Introduction to ‘Female Sexuality : The Early Psychoanalytic Controversies’ : Edited by Russell Grigg, Dominique Hecq, and Craig Smith : Rebus Press, 1999 : Quote : Obvious too is the reason why arguments become more intense with Freud’s insistence on the phallic phase in his work on ‘The Dissolution of the Oedipus Complex’ (1924d),  SE XIX p173-179 Published at www.Freud2Lacan.com see here. But it is as though the controversy is now taking place on two levels. It is as though Freud is now alone. For both Freud’s opponents and his defenders look for answers in biology or anatomy even though they take object-relations as the focus of their discussions.

In point of fact Freud reacted by accusing his oppenents of looking for answers outside the psychoanalytic field of inquiry, disapproving of what might be called this return of biology.

Quote from Letter to Carl Müller-Braunschweig : 1935 : Sigmund Freud, published as ‘Freud and female sexuality: a previously unpublished letter’, Psychiatry, 34 (1971) : p328-9 : I object to all of you (Müller-Braunschweig, Horney, Jones, Rado, etc.] to the extent that you do not distinguish more clearly and cleanly between what is psychic and what is biological, that you try to establish a neat parallelism between the two and that you, motivated by such intent, unthinkingly construe psychic facts which are unprovable and that you, in the process of so doing, must declare as reactive or regressive much that without doing so is primary….In addition I would only like to emphasize that we must keep psychoanalysis separate from biology just as we have kept it separate from anatomy and physiology.

And yet, here there is also a turning point in Freud’s work: emphasis is placed increasingly upon the mother-child dyad. It is, moreover, at this point that Freud reformulates the question of the substitution of objects in Oedipal terms: ‘how’ rather than ‘why’ the little girl changes love objects. (See Some psychical consequences of the anatomical distinction between the sexes : 1925 : Sigmund Freud : SE XIX : p251 )

P464 : Freud [5] holds that it is the comparative unsatisfactoriness of this solution which automatically guides the child to seek for a better external penis, and thus ushers in the Oedipus situation where the wish for a baby gradually replaces that for a penis. : Freud, International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, Vol. VIII, P. 140 :

This is ‘Some Psychological Consequences of the Anatomical Distinction Between the Sexes’ : 1925j : Sigmund Freud : About 7 pages from the beginning. : p340 of pfl : Quote : So far there has been no question on the Oedipus complex, nor has it up to this point played any part. But now the girl’s libido slips into a new position along the line – there is no other way of putting it – of the equation ‘penis-child’. She gives up her wish for a penis and puts in place of it a wish for a child: and with that purpose in view she takes her father as a love-object. Her mother becomes the object of her jealousy. The girl has turned into a little woman.

P465 : so we have to recognize that many clinical phenomena depend on the defensive function of regression, recently insisted on by Freud.[18] Freud, Hemmung, Symptom und Angst, 1926, S. 48, etc. :

Inhibitions, Symptoms & Anxiety : 1926d : Sigmund Freud : SE  XX p75-175 : Download from www.Freud2Lacan.com at Part 1 & Part II  

p259 of James Strachey’s translation, Vol 10 of pfl : Quote : At any rate, we can see that repression is not the ony means which the ego can employ for the purpose of defence against an unwelcome instinctual impulse. If it succeeds in making an instinct regress, it will actually have done it more injury than it could have by repressing it. Sometimes, indeed, after forcing an instinct to regress in this way, it goes on to repress it.

P467 : If the ‘condition of dependence’ (cp. Freud’s phrase; “Liebesbedingung’) is not fulfilled the individuals, : no reference is given or has been found:

Jacques-Alain Miller describes it, in Love’s Labyrinths : See Lacanian Ink Vol 8, published by www.Lacan.com here : or published by the Journal of cfar  here  : as ‘There is an aspect of contingency in love. Love depends on chance meetings. There is a tuché of love, to use Aristotle’s term, a “chance encounter.” But psychoanalysis emphasizes an element of necessity in love that is opposed to luck: the automaton of love. The great discoveries of psychoanalysis concerning love are from this register. Analysis allows a subject to close in on what makes him fall in love and what makes him desire. This is what Freud called “the condition of love” (Liebesbedingung).

P468-469 : I would even venture the opinion that when Freud postulated a ‘phallic’ stage in female development corresponding with that in the male, i.e. a stage in which all the interest appears to relate to the male organ only with obliteration of the vaginal or pre-vaginal organs, he was giving a clinical description of what maybe observed rather than a final analysis of the actual libidinal position at that stage;  No reference is given :

Possibly The dissolution of the Oedipus complex : 1924 : Sigmund Freud : SE XIX p173-179    Published at www.Freud2Lacan.com see here  

p320 – 321 of James Strachey’s translation, Vol 7 of pfl : Quote : At this point our material – for some incomprehensible reason – becomes far more obscure and full of gaps. The female sex, too, develops an Oedipus complex, a super-ego and a latency period. May we attribute a phallic organization and a castration complex to it? The answer is in the affirmative; but these things cannot be the same as they are in boys.

P472 : Freud’s ‘phallic phase’ in girls is probably a secondary, defensive construction rather than a true developmental stage. : no reference is given :

Possibly ‘Some Psychological Consequences of the Anatomical Distinction Between the Sexes’ : 1925j : Sigmund Freud : p339 of James Strachey’s translation, Vol 7 of pfl : Analyses of the remote phallic period have now taught me that in girls, soon after the first signs of penis-envy, an intense current of feeling against masturbation makes its appearance, which cannot be attributed exclusively to the educational influence of those in charge of the child. This impulse is clearly the forerunner of the wave of repression which at puberty will do away with a large amount of the girl’s masculine sexuality in order to make room for the development of her femininity.

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Julia Evans

Practicing Lacanian Psychoanalyst

 

Further texts

By Ernest Jones  https://lacanianworks.net/category/by-author/jones-ernest/   & www.LacanianWorksExchange.net  /authors a-z /Jones 

Of the clinic  here

From other LW working groups  here

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By Sigmund Freud here

Notes on texts by Sigmund Freud  here

By Jacques Lacan here

Notes on texts by Jacques Lacan here

By Julia Evans here