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Mordas E.S. Envy of Pregnancy and Fantasies of Pregnancy Experienced by Men

Published in journal "Psychology and Psychotechnics", 2016-11 in rubric "Continent of the unconscious", pages 898-905.

Resume: The paper presents an overview of some psychoanalytic ideas about envy of male to female (reproductive capabilities of women), and men's fantasies about pregnancy. Freud noted a specific manifestation of envy (felt by women), so-called penis envy in the context of its fallocentrical theory. Analysis of the penis envy and the feminine castration complex is essential for psychoanalytic therapy of women. Unfortunately, there are not so many works devoted to the theme of envy of men towards females and their reproductive functions, as well as the role this feeling plays in the development of men’s character and of psychopathology. This is despite the fact that the disappointment of a boy in this respect is as deep as the penis envy of a girl. Envy to pregnancy and childbirth, fantasies about pregnancy is a significant contribution to the understanding of identification of a man with a female figure and formation of male gender identity. Psychoanalytic experience has shown that there is a pre-Oedipus period of envy. The boy wants to be the Almighty as a mother and to have the ability to have children. This is an expression of the hermaphrodite desire and bisexuality of man. The stage of anal eroticism allows the boy to fantasize about pregnancy without manifestating feminine tendencies. Identification with the mother contributes to the fact that the boy bypasses castration feelings and maintains a relationship with the mother (i.e. to prevent separation). Through fantasies about pregnancy the boy expresses a desire to become a child; fantasy appears in a situation when it is necessary to show manhood. Identification with the mother allows the boy (man) become a favorite for his father. Men’s fantasies about pregnancy support the identification with a female figure and possible source of them (fantasies) is the envy of the mother. Provoking external circumstances (wife's pregnancy or pregnancy of a female psychologist) lead to the loss of mental balance and men’s regression. Emerging new mental balance depends on the structure of his Ego, initial conflict and personality structure. Pregnancy is one of the key periods of development for both men and women.  It should be also noted that there is a shortage of the clinical psychoanalytic material (psychotherapy practice, in particular) devoted to the psychoanalysis of pregnancy available for Russian readers.

Keywords: regression, masculinity, childbirth, femininity, fantasy, fear of castration, pregnancy, envy, child's desire, identification

DOI: 10.7256/2070-8955.2016.11.22765

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