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Women in Psychology Paper
Shanda L. Ludwig
September 11, 2011
Dr. Matt Pearcey

Women in Psychology Paper
It was not until the 1890s that women were allowed access to training in most fields of study, including psychology. Since that time many have made significant theoretical contributions to the field of psychology and our understanding of psychodynamic thought including the works of Karen Horney (1885–1952). She was a psychoanalyst best known for her work on neurosis and coping techniques. Horney was a leading figure in the development of a range of non-orthodox psychoanalytic approaches in mid-twentieth-century America. Often compared to orthodox Freudians, she emphasized interpersonal relations and minimized the
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Horney also followed much of Freud’s theory, though she disagreed with his views on female psychology. She declared that his theory of penis envy was inaccurate and demeaning to women. In contrast, she proposed a theory of womb envy, which men experience “feelings of inferiority because they cannot give birth to children.” (Horney 1942). At the International Congress held in Berlin in 1922, Horney issued her first challenge to Freudian theory “The Genesis of the Castration Complex in Women.” In her writings she urged against Freud’s theory of penis envy that, “what women chiefly envy is male privilege and what they need is greater opportunity to develop their human capacities.” (Horney, 1942). This speech was the catalyst in the growing gap between Horney’s developing personality theory and orthodox Freudian psychoanalysis. Freud began to defend his theories more actively against Horney’s criticisms as reflected, for example, in “Some Psychical Consequences of the Anatomical Distinction Between the Sexes” (1925) and “Female Sexuality” (1931). Horney began to expand her criticisms of psychoanalysis, accusing orthodox practitioners of being male centered and overly concerned
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