- Freud viewed women as men without penises, and believed that women had a primal desire to obtain a penis, and what power it represented, by either wanting to perform heterosexual acts with their mother, then realising they are unable to, and then later shifting the desire onto her father, as she is sexually passive and only wants sex to be able to have a child who is male, in order to obtain a penis finally. Women were said by Freud to be morally inferior to men, as they did not have the male genitalia and therefore, and undeveloped superego. Women were also said to fantasize about having a penis and expressed this in dancing in moves which might resemble having a penis or wanting revenge towards men through humiliation or deprivation of sex by removing the penis from the man or the man from the penis.
- Female sexuality, according to early Freudian theory is exactly the same as the male, up until the phallic stage of psychosexual development. Since woman don’t have a penis, however, they experience penis envy. Freud considered that in normal female development penis envy transformed into the wish for a man and/or a baby.
- Penis envy in women is a problem that Freud believed could never be completely resolved, thus condemning all woman to underdeveloped superegos, implying women will always be morally inferior to men.
- The term sometimes refers to women who are presumed to wish they were men. However, the concept is unrelated to the “small penis syndrome” which is the anxiety of thinking one’s penis is too small.