One-Sex Model, Phallic Norm and the Abjection of the Woman in Freud and Lacan

By Paula Gruman, Thamy Ayouch

In this article, the position granted to ‟the woman” in the works of Freud and Lacan is analysed along the line of the ‟one-sex model” suggested by Thomas Laqueur. The aim is to demonstrate how, in some excerpts of their theory, Freud and Lacan did not renounce the conception of the one-sex, despite the apparent centrality of the concept of sexual difference in their theorisations. I suggest that the importance given to the phallus prevents psychoanalysis from tackling other forms of subjectivation in which the phallus (anatomic or symbolic) is not so central for the subject. Under the reign of the phallic norm, the construction of the female gender as the antipode of the phallic norm maintains women in a position of non-existence and, ultimately, of abjection.


  • abjection
  • gender
  • phallus
  • femininity
  • psychoanalysis
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