Talk:Penis envy

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Male penis Envy[edit]

"...Misconception that a larger penis is universally more satisfying and appealing to a woman..." - This is unfounded. Whether a larger penis is more satisfying than a smaller one is somewhat debatable, certainly the extremes of small and large are not going to satisfy a partner, however it is not correct to say that the mere sight of a large penis is not appealing to most women (or possibly gay men, though that is not mentioned in the article).

I myself do not see how the subject is related the the Freudian theory. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:29, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

Complete misreading of Freud[edit]

I genuinely think that this article is an enormous misreading and bastardisation of the concept of penis envy, complete with quite a lot of theorising about what really causes gender roles and what men are like. The concept may be out-dated, but I don't think you'd know from this article, which doesn't even begin to describe the concept adequately.

So help us add to itUrthogie 00:10, 11 September 2005 (UTC)

Ive got an envy for something long.... something like a thick edit from you to fix the article that is a "bastardisation of the concept". You seem to have some knowledge on it, which is probly rare for such an 'outdated' concept.Jesus On Wheels 11:52, 12 September 2005 (UTC)

I will endeavour to try and fix the article with references from Freud as soon as I am able, but unfortunately I know it's going to take a while, which is why I was bringing it to people's attention. In the meantime, I really would recommend someone checks stuff in this piece, because it's mostly just plain wrong, and is kind of embarrassing.

Hi - I wrote some of the stuff above. The article is now much improved. Tom Coates 15:53, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

Spelling in this article[edit]

Dear Feminists,

If you are going to leave such a clear signature in this article, can you please make a decent effort in spelling and punctuation, or even run your spellcheckers over the text before submitting it? Otherwise, you're not helping your cause! A text looking like it has been written in anger is likely to detract from its intellectual merits. Samsara 13:11, 5 October 2005 (UTC)

Dumb sentence[edit]

Some feminists have suggested men's desire for female breasts constitute breast envy. Of course, this can't be universally because many men have big breasts and all men are capable of getting breast cancer.

And men with breasts are not envied, but its cause of embarrassment. --Vizcarra 19:09, 21 January 2006 (UTC)


Unlike the falsified predictions of Freudian penis envy, and evolutionary psychology penis envy, feminist theories predict that penis envy declines as society becomes more egalitarian, and more women are placed in the highest levels of power.

"placed in highest levels of power"?? Either this is patronising to women or a stab at neoliberal democracy... either way, it could do with rewording... - FrancisTyers 03:26, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

If women have a penis envy, so it gives 3 reasons for it:

  1. only the penis is able to penetrate in any body
  2. the penis is much more noticeable than the vulva in generally
     and especially to the clitoris
  3. urination by standing (penis)
        --Fackel 19:49, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

What is so special and great about urinating standing up??? Is not a stronger jet of higher prestige, no matter if standing or squatting?? This is what woman can better. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:14, 20 October 2014 (UTC)


This shouldn't even be mentioned in the article. Everyone knows feminists are ignorant people. BTW, how about some pussy envy?

It's called womb envy. —Keenan Pepper 20:29, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
don't forget vagina envy Ziiv 02:30, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

Ev Psyche and Penis Envy[edit]

I found the following line in the article interesting:

  • Some proponents of evolutionary psychology suggest there is an evolutionary aspect to this, (i.e. penis envy), but this is purely speculative.

Now I have read a lot on the subject of evolutionary psychology, and I have never read of anybody in that field speculate on the idea of penis envy, (though I have read of evolutionary psychologists criticizing the Oedipal complex from the perspective of parent-offspring conflict.) I'd be curious to know what evolutionary psychologist(s) has made speculations on penis envy. I strongly suspect that most, if not all, evolutionary psychologists would find the concept absurd.

If I may speculate further: I realize that feminists quite often aren't exactly crazy about evolutionary psychology. However, I believe that criticisms from feminists on EP are often times based on misconceptions about EP...misconceptions that are understandable, considering the history of how biology has been applied to human behavior with things like Social Darwinism and eugenics. My suspicion in regards to this article, (and of course I may be wrong), is that some people may be reading penis envy into evolutionary psychology, when it's not actually there. But as I said, I could be wrong!

As a final note, some people may find it intersting that there are attempts to find common ground between these two fields. Check out

EPM 18:49, 22 February 2006 (UTC)


So How's This??[edit]

I would be interested to know what people thought of this article now. I've changed it significantly, while trying to leave all the accurate, relevant stuff that was in it before.

Specifically, I've included a section on what Freud's theory actually was (which, to my surprise, was essentially completely absent).

There certainly was a lot of writing on 'Feminist Critisisms' in the old version. It seemed to be pretty ad hoc, with many individuals adding their own "two cents" without bothering to make sure the article was consistent throughout. And to be honest, I felt that much of what was written wasn't really academic at all. It was really just a collection of half-baked ideas that people tried to express using impressive-sounding polysyllabic words! I don't think a wikipedia article is an appropriate venting place for either pro-feminist or anti-feminist sentiment.

The article was rightfully questioned; it wasn't actually an article.

The revised version is still long, in fact I think it is longer than the old one. Some might find that surprising, considering that penis envy was such a small part of Freud's psychosexual development theory. I would agree. I think this article is actually longer than the one on Freud's psychosexual development as a whole (which is pretty silly). It seems this had to be the case, because penis envy has attracted far more attention/criticism than it deserves on the basis of merit or significance. In this way, it is one of Freud's most sociologically and morally significant concepts, and (as with all things moral) demands much comment.


  • Well Dan, I think it looks much better now. I took out the evolutionary psychology category at the bottom, though. Penis envy has absolutely nothing to do with evolutionary psychology. EPM 05:25, 24 February 2006 (UTC)

It's an significant - enormous, even - improvement. I was the person who left the first comment on the discussion page, and am absolutely delighted that the Freudian theory has now been clarified. As you say, although it has been widely discredited - or not taken seriously - it's a much more nuanced and intelligent theory than the previous article led people to believe. I'm also really happy that you've taken on some of the more idle commenters and stripped them out from the piece. The many critiques of the theory deserve as much and as good treatment as the theory itself does, but until you'd done this work, neither was getting sufficient attention.

Can this article be any more anti-male?[edit]

seriously, just because there is atleast one feminist in the world does not mean that their opinion matters...

  • I don't think its that anti-male! It rightly expresses how unpopular the term is. And the theory actually does assume that the 'default' pattern of behaviour in development is 'male' rather than 'female'. This is something that we now know is not true from a genetic perspective, as well as for the other reasons mentioned in the article. --Patch 08:37, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Australian English[edit]

This article is written in Australian English for a reason; the person who wrote it is Australian! Changing single words to their American equivalent makes the article linguistically inconsistent.

And I think changing the entire article to American English is disrespecting. I'm not sure what the Wikipedia rules are with respect to this sort of thing, but unless someone can show me that relinguishing my language is required to contribute to this project I intend to maintain the Australian_English present within this article.

So deal with the fact that not everybody uses 'z' in every second word! I'm talking to the guy that switched 'realises' to 'realizes'!!!

Thanks for hearing my rant. -Patch 08:28, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Patch: I was taught, while pursuing a Bachelor of Science in the U.S., that one should use American English when writing scientific papers -- not sure why (and I'm not the guy who edited 'realises'; I just thought your comment was interesting). Regarding English Wikipedia, surely they've got some rules laid out somewhere? If not, perhaps there's something somewhere stating which spelling system is used more worldwide ...
Regarding the word 'realises', how do you pronounce it? I pronounce it with a 'z', so spelling it with a 'z' is more natural for me ... -- Newagelink (talk) 21:01, 23 August 2010 (UTC)
Wikipedia policy: articles about Americans and American topics should be writen in American English. Articles about Australians/Britons/Canadians/etc and Australian/British/Canadian/etc topics should be written in Australian/British/Canadian/etc English (although presumably not for Scotland/Scottish English). Other articles can be written in any version of English, but should be internally consistent, and stick with whatever form of English they were originally written in. So in this case, as this is a nationally neutral topic (and one based on the works of an Austrian), then original writer (Australian) gets to decide which version of English to use (Australian). Wardog (talk) 20:16, 1 November 2010 (UTC) (PS: according to the Oxford English dictionary, "realize" should be spelt that way as it is pronounced that way. The "American" spelling is actually the original British spelling; "realised", "civilised", etc are 19th-Century affectations pushed by people who thought French-style spelling was superior. A bit like those people who said/say you shouldn't split infinitives in English because it's impossible to do so in Latin).


the criticism section states that these ideas were first discussed in the victorian era. Earlier in the article it says that Freud published in 1908 and 1914, several years after Victoria died. I don't want to make 1/2 informed edits, but maybe someone could correct this. Epeeist smudge 10:55, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Complete structural flaws of the article[edit]

This article is far from the scientific concept Freud developed. While his theories may not be in vogue any longer--this particular article is more about the criticisms to the concept because of understandable hostility to the idea.

As a result, the actual theory behind it isn't accurately conveyed as should be in an encyclopedia, and the article ends up being hijacked by the "criticism." More appropriate would be completely listing the theory, rather than objections at each point, and followed with criticisms at the end, OR.. Simply making another page, "criticisms of 'penis envy.'"

As it stands now, the article is largely uninformative except to the fact that some people find the idea offensive, others find it funny. 09:37, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

Yes, it is quite funny, I got quite a laugh reading it. Freud did give us a good term to employ when making jokes. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:13, 23 November 2011 (UTC)
It sounds like you could massively improve the article. I'd love to see Freud's concept covered in more depth. And clearly you're a skilled writer! I invite you to be bold—maybe delete the entire main section and rewrite it from scratch. I'd like to see what you add. --Ben Kovitz 15:17, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
The trouble with this article is that everybody wants to add their two cents about it. Every time I take a look at it its significantly different... I'd agree that there's too much "criticism" in it, but it is definitely appropriate to include the reasons why its no longer taken seriously (talk) 02:24, 16 December 2007 (UTC) (sorry I'm not signed in) Patch

Is Wikipedia ran by feminists?[edit]

All this these rants aren't needed and hurt the flow of the article —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:04, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

I think this article is more about neofeminist view of penis envy rather than penis envy itself. Perhaps the title should be changed. (talk) 21:34, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

Why was the masculinist criticism of feminism, often using the phrase "penis envy" to describe it deleted?

Removed from "Within psychoanalytic circles" sect.[edit]

This part didn't seem to have any relation to psychoanalytic circles; it didn't claim that it was psychoanalysts (as opposed to "observational research[ers]") that have leveled these criticisms.

More recent observational research has shown that there are a number of flaws in Freud's theory:
  1. Although Freud’s theory of psychosexual development can be used to describe European culture in the early 20th century (the culture in which Freud lived), it can often not be generalized to encompass other cultures (such as African or Polynesian cultures).
  2. It is normal that the development of a gender identity is a process which occurs over a number of years. Specifically, it does not occur with the resolution of the Electra or Oedipal crisis, if such a crisis even actually occurs.
  3. Penis envy is not normally the determinant of female gender identity; there are many other factors in the development of gender identity in both sexes. Neither is penis envy now thought to be commonly experienced.

--zenohockey (talk) 03:59, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

As a girl I have never had penis envy and I have never wanted a penis. Honestly I have even felt very grateful that I dont have one...Seriously I think this is a crazy theory by men who think they are clearly superior and that women should look up to them. 20:53 24 February 2010 (Utc)

Oh, well that settles it. This girl has never had penis envy and thinks it's a "crazy theory", so clearly it's debunked. -- (talk) 14:49, 2 May 2010 (UTC)

It's not a crazy theory and women hate to reveal it. You are a liar.

Feminists as the only critics?[edit]

Is it really necessary to say that criticism of the idea of 'penis envy' has come from feminists? I would not consider myself a feminist, but I am female and I am against the idea of penis envy just based on personal experience. I didn't even know that boys had penises when I was at what Freud calls the "phallic stage" (somewhere between ages 3 and 6.) I knew that there were some physical differences of course, but I didn't really know what the differences were. I just knew I didn't like boys. There certainly wasn't any sort of jealousy or envy felt on my part. I'm not saying that this should be added to the article as it is all opinion, but I don't see why only feminists are listed as critics. There are a lot of people who view feminists as ridiculous radicals who think all things male are bad and to say that feminists are the only ones who criticize the idea makes it seem like one which is accepted by reasonable members of society. I feel that this is not true and that there are a great many critics of penis envy who aren't feminist, but are simply female.

  • The criticisms should be removed unless they are from scholarly sources. -- (talk) 20:33, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

As a male who knows quite well how mean and sneaky women can be, I dare to speculate that you do not passed through that penis envy feeling, because you do not like men after all. In my humble opinion "the penis envy feeling" can be revealed in women because of their nature and the way they "like" men:
- need to possess a man, without appreciating him with sensuality.
- jealousy about men's sexuality. Need to control men, and "castrate" their penis.
- anti-sex attitude, replaced with an emphasis on "love", which is for women a need to own, rather than a need to enjoy.
- love-hate complexes. A constant thing in female sexuality. Compulsion to fall in love with patterns of power in men. Disdain for men who do not show power. "if you can't beat your enemy, join him"
- Constant denial of the reality. Feelings of taking offense when the reality is crudely shown. "The truth is taboo. It should not be disclosed"
- compulsive need to do libel against men. Need to blame men, often by revealing their own nature in the accusations women do against men.

I understand that it's not that simple and linear. It varies according to many women. I also understand that this feelings also exist in men.

I know my comment is going to be deleted. It's just a theory based on everyday observation. A Theory is a theory, not something proven. When it's proven it stops being theory and it becomes scientific fact. I assume that there is a strong risk of error when men speculate about women's sexuality, mostly because men are not women.
It should be women to reveal their own sexual patterns, not men by them. But how, if they do not like to show how they are? Need to hide their penis envy feelings? maybe...— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:33, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

Ahahaha. Dude, while there's quite some truth in what you said and I agree with a lot of it, you do come off as sounding incredibly butthurt. Your comment gave me a good laugh though, so thanks for that. :D -- (talk) 14:08, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

So, is your laugh the result of your pennis envy? At least you're honest in accepting that. Thanks from dude to an envious person with penis envy.

Contrived "male penis envy"[edit]

Doesn't appear anywhere in any clinical psychiatry book I've seen. This wiki is supposed to be about a Fruedian complex that was coined "penis envy". I do not want to go look at a wiki about multi-personality disorder and read about cross-dressering "queens". It doesn't belong here.

So what? What does those mentioned disorders, if they are, have to do with the penis envy issue? It seems an excuse.

I am a straight female who is not a feminist, and I think this theory is crazy. I am very annoyed that the people who disagree with the theory are immediatly labeled feminist or liars... Seriously, I had never heard of this theory before and when I did I thought it was completely false. Very few people in modern society, in my experiance, have penis envy. Maybe a hundred years back the theory was acceptable, since women had less rights than men and so they would prefer to be men, but in modern society where our rights are basically the same, most women would not want to have a penis. And even a hundred years ago, women didnt want a penis, they wanted the rights and independence having a penis would grant, not the organ itself.

Unfortunately, women do experience penis envy. I wish it I could dismiss it out of hand, but there is no way I can. The points contained in the discussion are relevant, i.e. peeing standing up is one of the major reasons. Sad, but true.

But not for peeing, this is clearly an advantage for women. They have a more powerful jet and can do much quicker! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:37, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

minor changes to spurious "male penis envy" section[edit]

Woody Allen's quip of "male penis envy" is clearly intended as self-deprecating humor. I made slight edits including the removal of two bad links: one link returned an error (no page found) and the other link went to a note about HIV partners (completely unrelated to what the author was claiming the link went to). I retained the general structure of this section even though I think this sub-topic is unrelated to the subject at hand. Groovymaster (talk)

What about scientific psychology ?[edit]

The only evaluation of the theory we have here is the one of feminists and psychoanalysts. I think it would be interesting to include, in this article, what actual psychologists (not psychoanalysts) think of it. Most of them are very skeptical about Freud's theories. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:29, 9 March 2010 (UTC)


Can this article be any more transphobic? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:45, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

No obvious signs of phobia (some misandry perhaps), but there must be some transgender aspects to this... (talk) 10:31, 2 June 2014 (UTC)

Electra complex[edit]

Isn't Electra Complex Jungian rather than Freudian concept? I think there should be better distinction between Freud's original ideas and those of his students, colleagues and followers. I suggest the merger of this article into Psychosexual development. Igor Klimeš (talk) 23:33, 14 June 2012 (UTC)

Grotesquely nonsensical. Article fails to mention the huge number of nearly-always-false assumptions critical to holding the entire theory together.[edit]

Besides looking like utter nonsense, isn't this missing a number of explanations for strange assumptions without which it all falls apart? Forget the controversial Oedipal/Elektra emotional stuff, there are far more basic assumptions at play here: a) The girl would have to have some notion of the existence of such a thing as a penis b) The girl would have to realize that her father HAS a penis (!) c) The girl would have to have some notion of a key difference between the tiny things she might see a male child use to urinate and an adult male sexual organ d) The girl would have to understand the concept of puberty granting little boys a functional adult penis when they grow up e) The girl would have to have an extensive understanding of the nature of heterosexual intercourse f) The girl would have to have a decent understanding of the importance of said sexual intercourse in her parents' relationship g) The girl would have to have two parents (g1) whose relationship is both emotionally close (g2) and highly sexual (g3) at this moment in her development - actually statistically extremely unlikely in its own right h) The girl would have to have the mental capacity, reasoning skills, and inquisitiveness to put ALL of this together and compare and contrast it with the features of her own body i) The girl would thus have to have extensive voyeuristic tendencies and numerous chances to peep on males and females of various ages bathing, urinating, and procreating - requiring access to bedrooms and bathrooms, the presence of multiple males and females sharing these facilities, and also a total lack of desire for privacy and/or zero attention to what the child is trying to observe. Etc., etc., etc. ...all in all, that's just too much. Winning the lottery is child's play compared to fulfilling all of these conditions *BY AGE SIX*. Somehow, none of the unlikelihood of all these conditions being simultaneously satisfied is addressed at all in the article. (talk) 22:05, 20 September 2012 (UTC)

For one, I didn't read all of that and don't plan to.
For two, you're assuming Wikipedia has anything to do with truth or debate. It doesn't. If you can't cite something or people aren't discussing something enough online, it's irrelevant. It doesn't matter if you have absolutely airtight logic in discrediting penis envy(I'm not saying you do). The only thing that matters is that you can cite someone making these arguments in a noteworthy book/blog/source. Stupid, I know, but Wikipedia doesn't care about ascertaining the truth(Nor can it ever maintain neutrality, despite it's claim to want to). It cares about being able to cite "notable" idiots with shoddy opinions, or half-hearted studies with no real means of determining their validity. The mere fact that people discuss something(regardless of how stupid and untrue it is) gives it enough notability to include on the site(See: The Sexuality of Abraham Lincoln). And the entire mood and bias of the article is at the discretion of the editors...which generally means every article being given a feminist/gay/transgender slant(this becomes pretty obvious just in the sheer amount of "Feminist Opinion/Criticism" sections on an obscene number of articles. Including this one, of course).
In short, you're in the wrong place if you want to have any kind of honest discussion. Most all editors are here to insert their own bias on subjects they care about while citing information that agrees with them in the hopes that people will take it as fact and be converted to their way of thinking. That pretty much sums up Wikipedia on any article that has any political, sexual, or emotional aspect to it. BeardedScholar (talk) 03:01, 13 October 2012 (UTC)

This article is heavily censored and a horrible article[edit]

Please. Take this article, throw it away, write a good article. Create a separate article "Criticism's of Freud's Sociosexual Development Theories". The criticisms do not belong in the article or should be in a subsection at best.

As it stands, this article does not address the topic at all. A reader coming here to understand Freud's theory, would not find that understanding here.