In reexamining the psychoanalytic literature and reviewing the histories and psychodynamics of a group of gender-narcissistic patients, I was able to corroborate the basic theories of classical psychoanalysis, including the much-debated theories of female development, as well as delineate the characteristics and manifestations of gender narcissism.
In selecting patients for the study, I looked for the following features: 1) Inferiority/superiority feelings about one’s gender; 2) Excessive concern about one’s genitals; 3) Envy of or disgust toward the genitals of opposite sex; 4) Resentment of one’s gender role and envy of the role of the opposite sex; 5) Bitterness about feeling castrated or cheated (females), or rage about feeling psychologically castrated (males); 6) Fears of castration (males) or annihilation (females); 7) Oedipal guilt; 8) Idealization (grandiosity) about one’s own gender and devaluation of opposite gender; 9) Idealization of mothers and devaluation of fathers.
Many gender-narcissistic women made men the scapegoats for their inner conflicts about their femininity, vocalizing sentiments that have become common among militant feminist circles such as, “Men are the cause of all the problems of women.” Thus, they were competitive with men, rather than cooperative, wielding the attitude expressed in the song lyric, “I can do anything better than you can.” Five of the gender-narcissistic females were homosexual, three were bisexual, two were heterosexual, two were prostitutes, one was a strip-teaser, and one was abstinent. In contrast, all of the females in the control group were heterosexual.
In contrast, those 20 patients selected at random for the control group (10 males and 10 females) reported fewer sexual problems and showed much less gender narcissism.
Among this second group were cases whose narcissistic issues generally revolved not around gender but other issues such as intelligence, height, or basic self-worth.
Either a younger woman would idealize an older one, particularly her aggressive femininity, and thus feel special by being close to her, and have the experience of being initiated by her into the realm of womanhood; or two women of equal age would idealize one another and feel as though they were two superior and special women (in particular, superior to men).
There was often a vengefulness in their exclusion of men from their intimate lives (one noted that she had fantasies of her father jealously and angrily watching her make love to another woman), and a resentment of traditional women who were openly receptive to men and to the roles of wife and mother.
Given that there’s no reason prosecutors can’t or won’t mine these sites for character evidence, technology is in essence handing these defendants a noose to hang themselves with.
Still, there’s the danger that a photo taken out of context can be disproportionately damning.
Why do we get these skewed findings; is it really a fact that males are more narcissistic than females, or might it be that the instruments and thier factor structures are biased in favour of finding male-preferred expressions of narcissism?
Whatever the case it’s an anomaly worth exploring, and one psychoanalyst has added a theory of narcissism that might help to broaden the conversation.
The daughters then unconsciously devalued their own femininity but did not blame it on their mothers, with whom they were too attached, but on their fathers, who were often passive or distant.