chapter  Two
Freud and female sexualities
ByJoyce McDougall
Pages 17

In the Victorian era, sexuality was more or less regarded as a masculine privilege, whereas women were relegated to "conjugal duty", sacrifice, frigidity, or simulated pleasure. This was Freud's epoch, and in this respect Freud was an eminent Victorian in that he tended to take the Victorian woman as the model of femininity. Today's woman would have astonished him and shaken many of his cherished beliefs concerning female sexuality. The essential relationship that infants normally share with the mother in the first months of life provides the baby girl, in contrast to the boy, with a double identification. The somatopsychic images that are destined to become mental representations of her feminine body and its erogenous zones are already being formed. Even the adult woman frequently experiences her body as a dark continent in which the anal and oral monsters lurk.