Female Genital Anxieties
Anxiety is a feeling of worry, fear or trepidation. Mild, moderate or occasional, short-term severe anxiety is a normal reaction to stress in daily life.
Although anxiety can be unpleasant, it is a normal reaction to an environmental stressor, and a mild to moderate amount of anxiety can help people to recognize and more effectively deal with stressful situations, such as starting a new job or passing an exam.
Women experience unique anxieties that arise from the nature of the Female genitals and the role of the Female body in Female development. Experts have analyzed the importance of integrating body experiences in the development of psychic structures. A woman’s body and her efforts to integrate it are seen as uniquely feminine.
Some women, for instance, are not comfortable with their body and some women reported an aversion to /or feeling uncomfortable being naked in front of their partner. In our society the Female genitalia and their functions are objects of mystery, adoration and taboo. A Female body is often objectified and evaluated, which may result in poor genital and body image associated with lower Sexual satisfaction.
Three anxieties are described – access, penetration and diffusivity.
These represent dangers to body integrity comparable to, but different from, boys’ experience of castration anxiety.
Not only do different genitals give rise to different anxieties, the different body experiences give rise to different modes of mastery (defense) shaping different character structures. While males can readily form discrete, concrete mental representations of their genitals, Female s cannot. While the boy can rely on direct sensory experience, the developing girl must rely on proprioceptive experiences, symbolization, and on other people to aid her in defining her elusive genital experience.
This interpretation of the Female genital experience provides a psychoanalytic framework for the object embeddedness long observed as part of the feminine character.