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Fig 2.19 – Womb Envy

Text: Pages 86 and 87

Analogous to penis envy and drive theory, Karen Horney proposed womb envy. This was an innate
male trait that fueled the subordination of women and drove men to culturally succeed and exert their power in business, law, and politics. Underlying womb envy was fascination with the female breast, the vagina, and many of other areas of the female body including pregnancy, childbirth, and breast feeding. Horney believed that men suffered from a femininity complex, a desire to escape the gender rigidity of modern culture and deny their transsexual feelings because of cultural norms and social responsibilities.

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