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International Library of Psychology

Philosophy and Scientific Method

Sex and Repression Savage Society

in


International Library of Psychology

Method

Philosophy and Scientific GENERAL EDITOR: C. K. OGDEN, Philosophical Studies The Misuse of Mind Conflict and Dream* Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus Psychological Types* .

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Individual Psychology Speculations (Preface by Jacob Epstein) The Psychology of Reasoning* The Philosophy OF " As If " The Nature of Intelligence Telepathy and Clairvoyance The Growth of the Mind The Mentality of Apes . Psychology of Religious Mysticism The Philosophy of Music The Psychology of a Musical Prodigy Principles of Literary Criticism Metaphysical Foundation of Sciences Thought and the Brain* Physique and Character* .

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L. L. Thurstone fry R. Tischner

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E. A. Burtt, Ph.D.

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fry J.

in

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T. MacCurdy, M.D. honour of Morton Prince F. A. Lange R. G. Gordon, M.D.

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Bertrand Russell, F.R.S.

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byJ.H. Woodger fry Otto Rank

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Sir Richard Paget .fry Jean Nicod

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EiDETic Imagery

The Concentric Method The Foundations of Mathematics The Philosophy of the Unconscious .

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P. S. Florence Hamilton Frank Lorimer

E. R.

fry

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Foundations of Geometry and Induction

Lodge

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R. C.

frv

fry G. Murphy June E. Downey Christine Ladd-Franklin .

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The Laws of Feeling The Mental Development of the Child .

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Colour and Colour Theories

The Trauma of Birth The Statistical Method in Economics The Art of Interrogation The Growth of Reason Human Speech

Markey

F.

K. C. Hsiao .fry Liang Chi-Chao

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........ .... ......... ....... ........ .

Rabaud

Bogoslovskv

fry J. fry

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Political Pluralism History of Chinese Political Thought Integrative Psychology* The Analysis of Matter Plato's Theory of Ethics Historical Introduction to Modern Psychology Creative Imagination

B. B.

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E.

von UexkOll Scott Buchanan

fry J. fry

fry .

fry

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W. Morton Wheeler

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Charles Fox fry J. Piaget

Malinowski, D.Sc. fry P. Masson-Oursel fry F. Alverdes

B.

fry

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The Technique of Controversy The Symbolic Process

fry H. Pi6ron Ernst Kretschmer .

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Personality* Educational Psychology Language and Thought of the Child Sex and Repression in Savage Society* Comparative Philosophy SocLAL Life in the Animal World How Animals Find their Way About The Social Insects Theoretical Biology .

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G. Revesz A. Richards

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Psychology of Emotion Problems of Personality The History of Materialism

Biological Principles

H. Leub." Pole, F.R.S.

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W. Kohler

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fry J.

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K. Koffka

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Alfred Adler T. E. Hulme

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Eugenio Rignano fry H. Vaihinger

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Cambridge)

College,

by G. E. Moore, Litt.D. by Karin Stephen 6y W. H. R. Rivers, F.R.S. fry L. Wittgenstein fry C. G. Jung, M.D. fry C. D. Broad, Litt.D. C. K. Ogden and I. A. Richards .

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Possibility

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Thought* The Meaning of Meaning Scientific

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M.A. {Magdalene

fry

F.

fry

fry

Paulhan

K. Buhler

E. R. Jaensch

M. Laignel-Lavastine fry

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F. P.

Ramsey

fry E. von H.mitmann Outlines of Greek Philosophy fry E. Zeller The Psychology of Children's Drawings fry Helga Eng Invention and the Unconscious fry J. M. Montmasson The Theory of Legislation by Jeremy Bentham The Social Life of Monkeys fry S. Zuckerman The Development of the Sexual Impulses . fry R. E. Money-Kyrle Constitution Types in Delinquency fry W. A. Willemse The Sciences of Man in the Making fry E. A. Kirkpatrick Ethical Relativity fry E. A. Westermarck The Gestalt Theory fry Bruno Petermann fry C. Daly King The Psychology of Consciousness fry K. Vossler The Spirit of Language The Dynamics of Education .fry Hilda Taba The Nature of Learning fry George Humphrey -fry Wen Kwei Liao The Individual and the Commxjnity Crime, Law, and Social Science , .fry Jerome Michael and M. J. Adler Dynamic Social Research fry J. J. Hader and E. C. Lindeman fry S. M. Stinchfield Speech Disorders fry Max Black The Nature of Mathematics The Neural Basis of Thought fry G. G. Campion and Sir Grafton Elliot Smith Law and the Social Sciences fry Huntington Cairns fry F. M. Cornford Plato's Theory of Knowledge fry M. M. Lewis Infant Speech .

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â&#x20AC;˘ Asterisks denote that other books by the same author are included in the Series.


Sex and Repression in Savage Society

By

BRONISLAW MALINOWSKI

m LONDON

KEGAN PAUL, TRENCH, TRUBNER & BROADWAY HOUSE,

Co.,

68-74 CARTER LANE, E.C.4

1937

Ltd.


First published 1927

Reprinted

...

1

937

Made and Printed in Great Britain by CO. LTD. PERCY LUND, HUMPHKIES 12 Bedford Square, London, W.C.i and at Bradford

&


TO MY FRIEND

PAUL KHUNER New

Guinea, 1914, Australia, 1918,

South Tyrol, 1922.


PREFACE 'T^HE

had within

doctrine of psycho-analysis has

the last ten years a truly meteoric rise in popular favour.

It

has exercised a growing influence over

contemporary fact been for

literature, science,

and

art.

some time the popular craze

has in

It

of the day.

By this many fools have been deeply impressed and many pedants shocked and put off. The present writer belongs evidently to the

first

category, for he was for

a time unduly influenced by the theories of Freud and Rivers, Jung,

But pedantry

and Jones.

will

remain

the master passion in the student, and subsequent reflection soon chilled the initial enthusiasms.

This process followed I

by the

with

its

all

can be

careful reader in this little volume.

do not want, however, to

dramatic

ramifications

volte-face.

I

raise expectations of a

have never been

in

any sense

a follower of psycho-analytic practice, or an adherent of psycho-analytic

of

theory

;

and now, while impatient

the exorbitant claims of psycho-analysis,

chaotic arguments

and tangled terminology,

of I

its

must

yet acknowledge a deep sense of indebtedness to

it

for stimulation as well as for valuable instruction in

some aspects

of

human

psychology.


— PREFACE

Vlll

Psycho-analysis has plunged us into the midst of a dynamic theory of the mind,

it

has given to the study

of mental processes a concrete turn,

has led us to

it

concentrate on child psychology and the history of

Last but

the individual.

of

the

human

life.

upon us the consideration unacknowledged

sides of

The open treatment

my

in

man

in

which psycho-analysis is

and

of sex

meanesses and vanities

least,

i;iot

man

that

;

fig leaf.

one

is,

if

As a pupil and

shall not accuse

—however

profoundly

of the sex impulse.

I

Nor

protest, righteously

—the very things for above

the

pan-sexualism

of

disagree with his treatment

as such, at times unclean,

is

my

hands

Man

is

views under of the

dirt

an animal, and,

and the honest anthro-

The student's grievance

not that

it

has treated sex

openly and with due emphasis, but

the

to

and even without

shall I accept his

pologist has to face this fact.

As

all

and

he wants to study his

Freud

with which they are covered.

treated

shameful

follower of Havelock Ellis, " "

washing

against psycho-analysis

and

most hated and reviled

is

subject without irrelevant trappings

for

unofficial

of various

endear psycho-analysis,

student of

I

has forced

opinion of the greatest value to science,

should

the

it

that

it

has

incorrectly.

it

to the chequered history of the present volume,

first

the rest.

two parts were written much

Many

ideas laid

down

earlier

than

there were formed


PREFACE while

I

was engaged

ix

studying the Hfe of Melanesian

in

communities on a coral archipelago. tions sent to

and some

me by

literature with

me, stimulated

The

instruc-

my friend Professor C. G. Seligman,

me

which he kindly supplied

to reflect on the

manner

in

which

the Oedipus complex and other manifestations of the " unconscious " might appear in a

community

The actual observations

founded on mother-right.

on the matrilineal complex among Melanesians are to

my

knowledge the

application of psycho-

first

analytic theory to the study of savage

may

such

of his

life,

and as

be of some interest to the student of man,

mind and

My

of his culture.

conclusions are

couched in a terminology more psycho-analytic than I

Even so I do not go much complex " and " repression ",

should like to use now.

beyond such words as

"

using both in a perfectly definite and empirical sense.

As and

my

reading advanced,

less inclined to

conclusions of Freud,

still less

feel

more

found myself

manner the

As an anthropologist

especially that ambitious theories with

regard to savages, hypotheses of the origin of institutions

less

those of every brand and

sub-brand of psycho-analysis. I

I

accept in a wholesale

and accounts

human

of the history of culture,

should be based on a sound knowledge of primitive hfe, as well as of the

of the

human mind.

unconscious or conscious aspects After

all

neither group-marriage

nor totemism, neither avoidance of mother-in-law


PREFACE

X

nor magic happen in the " unconscious "

and cultural

solid sociological

them

facts,

and

;

they are

to deal with

theoretically requires a type of experience

which

That

cannot be acquired in the consulting room. misgivings are justified

all

my

have been able to convince

I

myself by a careful scrutiny of Freud's Totem and Taboo, of his Group-Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego, of

the anthropological works of

My

by Roheim and of Reik, Rank, and Jones.

Australian Totemism

conclusions the reader will find substantiated in

the third part of the present book. In the last part of the book

my

positive views

have

I

on the origins of

tried to set forth

culture.

I

have

there given an outline of the changes which the animal

nature of the

human

species

must have undergone

under the anomalous conditions imposed upon culture.

More

have

especially

I

it

by

attempted to show

that repressions of sexual instinct and some sort of "

complex " must have arisen as a mental by-product

of the creation of culture.

The is

in

the book, on Instinct and Culture,

last part of

my

opinion the most important and at the same

From

time the most debatable. point of view at least,

an attempt

at

an

it is

a pioneering piece of work

No doubt most

to be recast, but

;

exploration of the " no-specialist's-

land " between the science of animal.

the anthropological

I

of

my

man and

that of the

arguments

will

have

believe that they raise important


;

PREFACE issues

will

sooner or later have to be considered

biologist

and animal psychologist, as well as

which

by the

xi

by the student

of culture.

As regards information from animal psychology and biology

I

have had to rely on general reading.

used mainly the works of Darwin and Havelock Professors Lloyd Morgan, Herrick,

have

I

Ellis

;

and Thorndike

;

Heape, Dr. Kohler and Mr. Pyecroft, and such

of Dr.

information as can be found in the sociological books

Westermarck,

of I I

Hobhouse,

Espinas

have not given detailed references

my

wish here to express

works

;

most

of instinct

I

habit

Lloyd Morgan,

seems to I

me

and that

my

the most

have found most

discovered too late that there

discrepancy between

and

indebtedness to these

adequate and whose observations useful.

others.

in the text

of all to those of Professor

whose conception

and

some

is

use of the terms instinct and

of Professor

Lloyd Morgan, and

our

in

respective conceptions of plasticity of instincts.

I

do

not think that this implies any serious divergence of opinion.

a

I

believe also that culture introduces

new dimension

in the plasticity of instincts

and

that here the animal psychologist can profit from

becoming acquainted with the anthropologist's contributions to the problem. I

have received in the preparation

of this

book much

stimulation and help in talking the matter over with

my

friends

Mrs.

Brenda

Z.

Seligman

of

Oxford


PREFACE

xu

Dr. R. H. Lowie and Professor Kroeber of California

University

White

Mr. Firth of

;

New

Washington, and Dr. H.

of

Baltimore

;

of the

London School

Dr. G. V. Hamilton and Dr.

S.

of

S.

of

of

E. JelUffe of

Dr. E. Miller of Harley Street

de Angulo

;

W.

A.

Sulhvan

of

Dr.

Professor Herrick of Chicago University,

and Dr. Ginsberg

Ogden

Zealand

Economics

;

New York

;

Mr. and Mrs. Jaime

;

Berkeley, California, and Mr. C.

Cambridge

;

K.

Professor Radcliffe-Brown of

Cape Town and Sydney, and Mr. Lawrence K. Frank of

New York

is

based has been made possible by the munificence

of Mr.

My this

City.

The

field-work on which the book

Robert Mond. friend Mr. Paul

book

is

Khuner

of Vienna, to

dedicated, has helped

competent criticism which cleared present subject as on

many

me

greatly

my

whom by

his

ideas on the

others.

B. M. Department of Anthropology, London School of Economics, University of London. February. 1927.


CONTENTS

Preface

......

PAGE vii

PART THE FORMATION OF A COMPLEX I

CHAPTER I.

II.

The Problem The Family

.

IV.

V. VI.

VII. VIII.

IX.

.

.

i

....

8

The First Stage of the Family Drama Fatherhood in Mother-right

25

Infantile Sexuality

33

in

Mother-right III.

.

Father-right and

.....

.

The Apprenticeship to Life The Sexuality of Later Childhood Puberty The Complex of Mother-right .

.

..... ,

i8

40 49 59

74

PART II THE MIRROR OF TRADITION I.

II.

III.

IV.

Complex and Myth in Mother-right Disease and Perversion Dreams and Deeds Obscenity and Myth

... .

.

.

.

.

83 85 91

104


CONTENTS

xiv

PART III PSYCHO-ANALYSIS AND ANTHROPOLOGY PAGE I.

The Rift Between Psycho-analysis AND Social Science " A Repressed Complex " " The Primordial Cause of Culture " The Consequences of the Parricide The Original Parricide Analysed Complex or Sentiment ? .

II.

III.

IV. V.

VI.

.

.

.

.

135 142

148

154 159 173

PART IV INSTINCT AND CULTURE I.

II.

.....

The Transition from Nature to Culture The Family as the Cradle of Nascent Culture Rut and Mating in Animal and Man .

III.

IV. V.

VI.

Marital Relations Parental Love

VII.

IX.

Man

XI. XII.

.... .

.

.

.

.

.

...

The Plasticity of Human Instincts From Instinct to Sentiment Motherhood and the Temptations .

OF Incest X.

.

184 193

201

207

The Persistence of Family Ties in

VIII.

.

179

.

.....

Authority and Repression Father-right and Mother-right Culture amd the Complex Index

218 225

229 243 253

.

.

263

......

274 281

.

.


" After ignoring impulses for a long time in behalf

modern psychology now tends

of sensations,

start

to

out with an inventory and description of instinctive activities.

when and

This

it tries to

social life by direct reference to these nature

the explanation becomes

"

We

have

need

to

educated

significant

hazy and forced

know about original

element

into

we

before

in

.

.

powers

.

the social conditions

aztivities

dispositions

psychological

But

an undoubted improvement.

is

explain complicated events in personal

can

discuss

This

society.

which

definite

the

is

and the

true

Native human social psychology of nature supplies the raw materials but custom furnishes

meaning the

.

machinery and the designs

.

.

... Man

a creature

is

of habit, not of reason nor yet of instinct. " The treatment of sex by psycho-analysts is most instructive, for it flagrantly exhibits both the consequences of artificial simplification and the transformation of social

results

into psychic

causes.

male, hold forth on the psychology of

usually

Writers,

woman

as if they

They phenomena, which are peculiarly symptoms of the civilization of the West at the present time, as if they were dealing with a Platonic universal entity

.

.

.

treat

were the necessary

human

efforts

of fixed native impulses of

nature,"

JOHN DEWEY,

in

Human

Nature and Conduct


PART

I

THE FORMATION OF A COMPLEX I

THE PROBLEM pSYCHO-ANALYSIS was born practice,

but of

medical

and its theories are mainly psychological,

stands in close relation to two other branches

it

learning

It is

from

—biology

perhaps one of

and

the

its chief

science

of

merits that

society. it

forges

another link between these three divisions of the science of

The psychological

man.

views

Freud

of

—his

theories of conflict, repression, the unconscious, the

formation of complexes

and they cover

of psycho-analysis,

The

—form the best elaborated part

biological doctrine

its

proper

field.

the treatment of sexuality and

of its relation to other instincts, the concept of the '

libido

'

and

its

various transformations

thetheory which contradictions

is

and

much

sociological aspect,

a part of

and which

from

and partly

receives

more

justified.

The

which most interests us here,

deserve more attention. sociology

is

less finished, less free

lacunae,

criticism, partly spurious

will

Curiously enough, though

and anthropology have contributed most


â&#x20AC;&#x201D; SEX AND REPRESSION

2

evidence in favour of psycho-analysis, and though the the Oedipus complex has obviously a

doctrine of

sociological aspect, this aspect has received the least

attention.

Psycho-analytic doctrine the influence of family are

shown how the

of

the

a theory of

We

on the human mind.

life

and

conflicts

father,

mother,

passions, stresses

relation

in

child

is essentially

to

its

brother and sister result in the formation of certain

permanent mental attitudes or sentiments towards them, sentiments which, partly living in memory,

embedded

partly later

life

society.

T

individual

the

am

using the word sentiment in the technical

by Mr. A.

it

implications

his theory of

The

in

to

relations

his

F. Shand, with all the

which

it

has

received

in

emotions and instincts.

sociological nature of this doctrine is obvious

the whole Freudian definite

of

the unconscious, influence the

of

sense given to

important

in

drama

is

played out within a

type of social organization, in the narrow

the

children.

family,

composed

of

father,

circle

mother, and

Thus the family complex, the most impor-

tant psychological fact according to Freud,

is

due

to the action of a certain type of social grouping

upon the human mind. received

by every

Again, the mental imprint

individual in youth exercises further

social influences, in

formation of certain

that ties,

it

predisposes

and moulds

him

to the

his receptive


THE FORMATION OF A COMPLEX and

dispositions

of tradition, art,

Thus the logical

his creative

power

in

the domains

thought, and reUgion.

sociologist

feels

that

to

the

treatment of the complex there

added two

3

sociological

chapters

psycho-

should

be

an introduction

:

with an account of the sociological nature of family

and an epilogue containing the analysis

influences,

of the consequences of the

complex

problems therefore emerge for the First problem.

mentality,

is

family

character

its

For the fact

human

If

life is

societies.

sociologist.

human

so fateful for

more

deserves

that the family

Two

for society.

attention.

not the same in

is

Its constitution varies greatly

all

with

the level of development and with the character of the civilization of the people, and in the different strata of the

to theories logists,

same

it is

not the same

society.

According

even to-day among anthropo-

current

the family has changed enormously during

the development of humanity, passing from

its first

promiscuous form, based on sexual and economic

conununism, through marriage', '

'

group-family

'consanguineous

Punalua marriage

',

'

based on

family',

'

group-

based

on

through the Grossfamilie and

clan kindred to its final form in our present-day society

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;the individual family based on monogamous

marriage and the patria potestas. anthropological fact with

much

constructions

But apart from such which combine some

hypothesis, there

is

no doubt that


SEX AND REPRESSION

4

from actual observation among present-day savages

we can

see great variations in the constitution of the

There

family.

in

the

father,

give

the

divergencies in the methods of counting

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;matriliny

of

various

the

There are considerable

sub-divisions of mother-right.

and patriUny

the

forms

several

patriarchy, or vested in the mother,

descent

on

depending

differences

power which, vested in a varying

of

distribution

degree

are

and regarding

based on ignorance of fatherhood

in spite of this ignorance

patriUny

;

due to power, and patriliny due to economic reasons. Moreover, differences in settlement, housing, sources of food supply, division of labour

greatly the constitution of the

and

human

so on, alter

family

among

the various races and peoples of mankind.

The problem passions and

with

its

therefore emerges

:

do the

conflicts,

attachments within the family vary

constitution, or

throughout humanity

?

do they remain the same If

they vary, as in fact

they do, then the nuclear complex of the family

cannot remain constant in peoples

;

The

family. is,

it

all

human

races

must vary with the constitution

and

of the

main task of psycho-analytic theory

therefore, to study the limits of the variation

to frame the appropriate formula;

and

finally,

;

to

discuss the outstanding types of family constitution

and to

state the corresponding forms of the nuclear

complex.


THE FORMATION OF A COMPLEX With perhaps one

exception,^ this problem has not

been raised, at least not in an

yet

to the Freudian School, universal,

I

mean

explicit

exclusively

the Oedipus complex, corresponds

Aryan family with the

essentially to our patrilineal

developed patria potestas, buttressed by

and

Christian

and

morals,

Yet

this

complex

is

savage or barbarous society. correct, will

far this

assumed to

of

the

exist in every

This certainly cannot be of the first

assumption

What

The second problem. influence

by

of the well-to-do bour-

and a detailed discussion

show us how

Roman law

accentuated

modern economic conditions geoisie.

and

known and assumed by them to be

The complex

manner.

direct

5

is

is

problem

untrue.

the nature of the

the family complex on the formation

of

myth, legend, and fairy

of

savage and barbarous customs, forms of social

tale,

on certain types

organization and achievements of material culture

?

This problem has been clearly recognized by the psycho-analytic

writers

their principles to the

culture.

who have been applying

study of myth, reUgion, and

But the theory of how the constitution

of the

family influences culture and society through the forces of the

family

complex has not been worked out

^ I refer to Mr. J. C. Fliigel's The Psycho- Analytic Study of the Family, which, though written by a psychologist, is throughout orientated in the sociological direction. The later chapters, especially XV and XVII, contain much which is an approach to the present problem, although the writer does not formulate it explicitly.


SEX AND REPRESSION

6

Most of the views bearing on

correctly.

this second

problem need a thorough revision from the sociological

The concrete

point of view.

solutions,

on the other

Rank and Jones of the actual mythological problems are much sounder than their general principle that the " myth is the secular dream hand, offered by Freud,

of the race ".

by emphasizing that the

Psycho-analysis, of primitive

man

is

interest

centred in himself and in the

people around him, and

is

of a concrete

and dynamic

nature, has given the right foundation to primitive

psychology, hitherto frequently immeshed in a false

view of the dispassionate interest of

and

of

But by ignoring the

about his destiny.

and by making the complex

in nature

with philosophic speculations

concern

his

man

tacit

first

problem,

assumption that the Oedipus

exists in all types of society, certain errors

have crept into the anthropological work

Thus they cannot reach

analysts.

of psycho-

correct results

when they try to trace the Oedipus complex,

essentially

patriarchal in character, in a matrilineal society

;

or

when they play about with

the hypotheses of group-

marriage or promiscuity, as

if

no special precautions

were necessary when approaching conditions so entirely foreign

to

the

family as

it

Involved

in

is

constitution

known

such

of

our

contradictions,

logizing psycho-analyst

own form

of

to psycho-analytic practice.

the

anthropo-

makes a hypothetical assump-


THE FORMATION OF A COMPLEX tion about

some type

of primitive horde, or

a prehistoric prototype of the totemic

about

sacrifice,

about the dream character of the myth,

7

or

usually

quite incompatible with the fundamental principles of psycho-analysis itself.

Part

I

of

the

work

present

is

attempt based on facts observed at savages, to discuss the of

the

nuclear

the family. is

first

problem

essentially

first

an

hand among

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;the dependence

complex upon the constitution of

The treatment

of the second

problem

reserved for Part II, while in the last two parts the

same twin subjects

are discussed in a general manner.


II

THE FAMILY

AND

IN FATHER-RIGHT

MOTHER-RIGHT '

I

^HE

best waj^ to examine this

what manner the

'

family complex

and modified by the constitution given society to follow

course of

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

is

problem

first '

is

influenced

of the family in a

to enter concretely into the matter,

up the formation typical family

the complex in the

of

and to do

life,

it

paratively in the case of different civilizations.

not

propose here to survey

family, but shall

to

me from

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; in

compare

personal

forms of

all

in detail

two

observation

:

types,

comI

do

human known

the patrilineal

family of modern civilization, and the matrilineal family of certain island communities in North-Western Melanesia.

These

two

cases,

however, represent

perhaps the two most radically different types of family

known

to sociological observation, and will

thus serve our purpose well.

A

few words

will

be

necessary to introduce the Trobriand Islanders of

North-Eastem Melanesia)

who

New will

Guinea

(or

North-Western

form the other term

comparison, besides our

own

culture.

of

our


THE FORMATION OF A COMPLEX These natives are matrilineal, that in a social order in

the

descend in the female or

they Uve

is,

is

reckoned through

succession

and inheritance

which kinship

mother only, and

9

This means that the boy

line.

belongs to the mother's family, clan and com-

girl

munity

:

the boy succeeds to the dignities and social

position of the mother's brother,

and

not from

it is

the father but from the maternal uncle or maternal aunt, respectively, that a child inherits its possessions.

Every man and woman

in the Trobriands settles

down eventually to matrimony, after a period of sexual by general

play in childhood, followed

and

adolescence,

later

licence in

by a time when the

lovers live

together in a more permanent intrigue, sharing with

two or three other couples a communal house

'.

except

Matrimony, which with

chiefs,

usually

is

who have

'

bachelor's

monogamous,

several

wives,

is

a permanent union, involving sexual exclusiveness, a

common economic At

household.

a

superficial

of marriage

existence,

glance

first

observer

among

entirely different.

to

ourselves.

and an independent might

it

be

appear

exact

the

pattern

In reaUty, however,

To begin

to

it is

the husband

with,

is

not regarded as the father of the children in the sense in which

we use

this

word

he has nothing to do with their to the ideas of the natives, physical fatherhood.

who

;

physiologically birth,

according

are ignorant

Children, in native

belief,

of are


SEX AND REPRESSION

10

generally

by the agency

kinswoman

them

arms

in his

are not

'

his

when

children,

to

'

receive

they are bom, but they

had a share

in the sense that he has

'

spirits,

Her husband has then

and cherish the '

tiny

as

of the spirit of a deceased

of the mother.^

protect

to

womb

mother's

the

into

inserted

in their procreation.

The but

father

not

He

is

a

is

thus a beloved, benevolent friend,

kinsman

recognized

a stranger,

having

the

of

children.

through

authority

his

personal relations to the child, but not through his sociological

that

position

identity of substance,

is

only through the mother. children

vested in

is

this person,

Real kinship,

the lineage.

in

the

owing to the

'same body',

mother's brother.

strict

Now

taboo which prevents

friendly relations between brothers

all

exists

The authority over the

and

sisters,

can never be intimate with the mother, or therefore with her household.

She recognizes

and bends before him

as a

his authority,

commoner

before a chief,

but there can never be tender relations between

Her children

them.

and

successors,

potestas.

At

however, his only heirs

and he wields over them the

his death his worldly

their keeping,

^

are,

and during

his lifetime

direct

goods pass into

he has to hand

See the writer's The Father in Primitive Psychology (Psyche and " Baloma, Spirits of the Dead ", Journ. R.

Miniatures), 1927,

Anthrop.

Inst.. 1916.


THE FORMATION OF A COMPLEX

ii

over to them any special accomplishment he

may

possess

He

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; dances,

also

it is

who

and

magic

myths,

songs,

supplies his sister

crafts.

and her household

with food, the greater part of his garden produce going to them.

To the

father, therefore, the children look

only

loving

care

for

and tender companionship.

Their mother's brother represents the principle of authority,

discipline,

the family.

The bearing

of the wife

sphere

towards her husband

She has her

at all servile.

own

and executive power within

1

of

influence,

own

possessions

private

and

is

not

and her

public.

It

never happens that the children see their mother

buUied by the father. only

is

partially

work mainly that

work

for his

On

the other hand, the father

bread-winner,

the

own

sisters,

when they grow up they

and

has

while the boys in turn will

to

know

have to

for their sisters' households.

Marriage

is

patrilocal

:

that

is,

the

goes to join

girl

her husband in his house and migrates to his com-

munity, the case.

if

she comes from another, which

The children

munity where they are right to the soil,

therefore

is

grow up

legally strangers,

no lawful pride in the

in general in a

com-

having no

village glory

;

For an account of the strange economic conditions of these see the writer's " Primitive Economics " in Economic Journal, 1921, and Argonauts of the Western Pacific, chapters ii and vi. The legal side has been fully discussed in Crime and Custom ^

natives,

in Savage Society, 1926.


SEX AND REPRESSION

12

while their home, their traditional centre of patriotism,

and

possessions,

their

and confusion

pride

their

of

Strange combina-

ancestorship are in another place. tions

local

with this dual

arise, associated

influence.

From an

early age boys

and

girls of

the same mother

are separated in the family, owing to the strict taboo

which enjoins that there

shall be

between them, and that above

no intimate all

relations

any subject con-

nected with sex should never interest them in common. thus comes about that though the brother

It

the person in authority over the forbids

him to use

of her marriage.

this authority

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

^her

when

it is

really

the taboo

a question

The privilege of giving or withholding

consent, therefore, father

sister,

is

is

left

to the parents, and the

mother's husband

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

is

person

the

who

has most authority, in this one matter of his daughter's marriage.

The great

difference

in

two

the

which we are going to compare clear.

In our

own type

authoritative, powerful

up by

society. 1

We

of

is

family

types

beginning to be

family

we have the

husband and father backed

have also the economic arrange-

" should like to mention that although under " our own I am here speaking about the European and American communities in general, I have in mind primarily the average type of continental family, as this was the material on which the conclusions of psycho-analysis were founded. Whether among the higher social strata of the Western European or of the North American ^

I

civilization


â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

;

THE FORMATION OF A COMPLEX ment whereby he nominally at least with them at his

is

i,^

the bread-winner, and can

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;^withhold supplies or be generous

will.

In the Trobriands, on the other

hand, we have the independent mother and her husband, who has nothing to do with the procreation of the children, and is not the bread-winner, who cannot leave

possessions

his

socially

to

the

children,

and

has

The

no estabUshed authority over them.

mother's relatives on the other hand are endowed with

very powerful influence, especially her brother, who

is

the authoritative person, the producer of supplies for the family, and whose possessions the sons will inherit at his death.

Thus the pattern

of social life

and the

constitution of the family are arranged on entirely different lines It

from those

our culture.

might appear that while

to survey the family it is

of

life

it

would be interesting

in a

superfluous to dwell on our

intimately

known

matrilineal society,

own

to everyone of us

family Ufe, so

and so frequently

recapitulated in recent psycho-analytic literature.

might simply take it is

it

essential in a strict

for granted.

But

first

of

We all,

comparative treatment to keep

the terms of the comparison clearly before our eyes we are now slowly moving towards a condition of mothermore akin to the legal ideas of Melanesia than to those of Roman Law and of continental custom, I do not dare to prophesy. If the thesis of this book be correct, some modern developments in matters of sex (" petting parties ", etc.), as well as the weakening of the patriarchal system, should deeply modify the configurations

cities

right

of the sentiments within the family.


SEX AND REPRESSION

14

and then,

since the matriUneal data to be given here

have been collected by special methods of anthropological field

work,

it

is

material into the

indispensable to cast the European

same shape, as if

by the same methods and looked logical point of view.

I

it

at

account any direct

and consistent reference to the

its

any discussion

of

from the anthropo-

have not, as stated already,

found in any psycho-analytic

less

had been observed

how

milieu,

social

still

the nuclear complex and

causes vary with the social stratum in our society.

Yet

obvious that the infantile conflicts will not

it is

be the same in the lavish nursery of the wealthy bourgeois as in the cabin of the peasant, or in the one-

room tenement

Now

of the poor working-man.

just

in order to vindicate the truth of the psycho-analytic

doctrine,

it

would be important to consider the lower

and the ruder strata

where a spade

of society,

a spade, where the child

is

is

called

permanent contact

in

with the parents, living and eating in the same room

and sleeping stitute

'

in the

same bed, where no

'

parent sub-

complicates the picture, no good manners

modify the brutality of the impact, and where the jealousies

in

and petty competitions

hardened though repressed

of daily life clash

hostility.^

^ My personal knowledge of the life, customs and psychology of Eastern European peasants has allowed me to ascertain deep differences between the illiterate and the educated classes of the same society as regards the mental attitude of parents to children

and vice versa.


— THE FORMATION OF A COMPLEX It

may

be added that when

complex and

need

not

of

the nuclear

bed-rock of social and biological

its

actuality in order to apply

the

we study

15

to the study of folk-lore,

it

peasant and the

the

neglecting

more urgent.

For the popular

traditions originated in a condition

more akin to that

illiterate classes is still

modern Central and Eastern European peasant,

of the

or of the poor artisan, than to that of the overfed

and nervously overwrought people London, or In

York.

to

make

order

clearly

into

New

I

describing

and

comparison

the

divide

shall

periods,

the

treat

history

each

and comparing

modern Vienna,

of

it

of

stand

of

them

out

childhood separately,

The

in both societies.

clear distinction of stages in the history of family life is

important in the treatment of the nuclear complex,

for psycho-analysis chief merits of

the

—has

—and

here really

lies

one of

its

brought to light the stratification

human mind, and shown

its

rough corre-

spondence to the stages in the child's development.

The

distinct

accompanying

periods

of

repressions

sexuality,

the

and amnesias

crises,

in

the

which

some memories are relegated to the unconscious all

these imply a clear division of the child's

periods.^

For the present purpose

it will

life

into

be enough

1 Although in Professor Freud's treatment of infantile sexuality, the division into several distinct stages plays a fundamental role, yet in his most detailed work on the subject (Drei Abhandlungen zur Sexualtheorie, 5th edition) the scheme of the successive stages is


SEX AND REPRESSION

i6

to distinguish four periods in the development of the child, defined

by

biological

and

Infancy, in which the

1.

sociological criteria.

baby

is

dependent for

its

nourishment on the mother's breast and for safety

on the protection

of the parent, in

move independently nor

We

ideas.

this period lasts

his

wishes and

reckon this period as ranging from

shall

Among

birth to the time of weaning.

savage peoples,

from about two to three years.

communities

civilized

which he cannot

articulate

about one year only.

it

is

But

much it

is

shorter

In

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

^generally

better to take the

natural landmarks to di\dde the stages of childhood.

The

child

is

at this time physiologically

bound up

with the family. the time in

Babyhood,

2.

which the

offspring,

while attached to the mother and unable to lead

an independent freely play

existence, yet can

round about

period to take

up

her.

first

talk,

and

reckon this

three or four years, and thus bring

the child to the age of about covers the

We

move, shall

six.

This term of

life

gradual severing of the family bonds.

not lucidly nor even explicitly drawn up. This makes the reading book somewhat difficult to a non-specialist in psychoanalysis, and it creates certain ambiguities and contradictions, real and apparent, which the present writer has not yet fully solved. of this

Fliigel's

otherwise excellent exposition of psycho-analysis {op.

cit.)

work which The word sets out to clear up and systematize the doctrine. child throughout the book is used sometimes to mean 'baby ', sometimes adolescent and the sense as a rule has to be inferred from the context. In this respect I hope that the present outline will be of some use.

also suffers from this defect, especially regrettable in a '

'

'

',


THE FORMATION OF A COMPLEX The

move away from

child learns to

17

the family

and

begins to be self-sufficient.

attainment

the

Childhood,

3.

pendence, the epoch of

is

branches of humanity and in

full

the time also all classes of

membership

the

of

some savages, the preliminary

Among

when

inde-

in all

a society the

some way or other to become

child begins in

into

relative

about and playing

roving

This

with other children.

of

initiated

Among

community.

rites of initiation begin.

and among our own peasants and

others

working people, especially on the Continent, the child begins to be apprenticed to his future economic

In Western

European and American communities This

children begin their schooling at this time. is

life.

the period of the second severing from family

influences,

and

lasts

it

till

puberty, which forms

its

natural term. Adolescence, between physiological puberty

4.

full social

this

epoch

initiation,

tribal

is

is

many savage

and in other

rites of

tribes it is the epoch in

which

law and order lay their claim on the youth In

modem

civilized

communities

the time of secondary and higher schooling,

or else of the final apprenticeship to the

This

and

communities,

encompassed by the principal

and on the maiden. it

In

maturity.

is

life

task.

the period of complete emancipation from

the family atmosphere.

own lower

strata

it

the foundation of a

Among

savages and in our

normally ends with marriage and

new

family.


Ill

THE FIRST STAGE OF THE FAMILY DRAMA TT

is

a general characteristic of the is

not

but has to rely for

its

the offspring

and

cleanliness

arrangements

mammals

and independent

that

at birth,

nourishment, safety, warmth,

comfort

bodily

To

mother.

its

free

on

the

care

of

this correspond the various bodily

of

mother and

child.

Physiologically

there exists a passionate instinctive interest of the

mother

in the child,

and a craving

for the maternal organism, for the

of the suckling

warmth

body, the support of her arms and, above

and contact

At

of her breast.

first

the relation

determined by the mother's selective passion

own

only her

offspring

is

of her

the milk

all,

dear, while the

is

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;to her

baby would

be satisfied with the body of any lactant woman.

But soon the

child also distinguishes,

ment becomes the

of life

mother.

Thus

This link that young

is

first

establishes a link for

birth

child.

founded on the biological fact

mammals cannot

the species depends for strongest

instincts,

his attach-

and individual as that

as exclusive

between mother and

and

its

that

live unaided,

survival on one of the

of 18

and thus

maternal

love.

But


THE FORMATION OF A COMPLEX society hastens to step in

and to add

19

its at first feeble

In

decree to the powerful voice of nature.

all

human

communities, savage or civilized, custom, law and

sometimes

morals,

take

religion,

bond between mother and

of the at a?

even

cognizance

offspring, usually

early a stage as the beginning of gestation.

The mother, sometimes the various taboos

father also, has to keep

and observances, or perform

womb.

within the social

Birth

is

event, round which

between mother and physiological

its

life

always an important

cluster

many

usages, often associated with religion.

most natural and most

rites

new

which have to do with the welfare of the

traditional

Thus even the

directly biological tie, that

child,

has

as well as

its social

and

determination,

be

cannot

described without reference to the influence exercised

by

the tradition and usage of the community.

Let us briefly summarize and characterize these social

co-determinants of motherhood in

Maternity

society. artistic

ideal

is

our

own

a moral, reUgious and even

of civilization,

a pregnant

woman

is

protected by law and custom, and should be regarded as a sacred object, while she herself ought to feel proud

and happy

in her condition.

which can be reaUzed

is

and ethnographical data.

That

vouched for by

Even

in

an ideal

this is

historical

modem

Europe,

the orthodox Jewish communities of Poland keep it

up

in

practice,

and amongst them a pregnant


;;

SEX AND REPRESSION

20

woman

an object of real veneration, and

is

In

proud of her condition. societies,

the

Christian

among

however, pregnancy

made a burden, and regarded among the well-to-do people it

Aryan

the lower classes

a nuisance

as

is

feels

a

is

source

of

embarrassment, discomfort, and temporary ostracism

from ordinary

social

life.

Since

we thus have

to

recognize the importance of the mother's pre-natal attitude for her future sentiment towards her offspring,

and

since this attitude varies greatly with the milieu

and depends on sociological

At

important that this

social values, it is

problem should be studied more

birth,

the

strengthened

by

society,

and

patterns

biological

instinctive impulses of the

closely.

the

mother are endorsed and which,

many

in

of

its

customs, moral rules and ideals, makes the mother the nurse of the child, and this, broadly speaking, in the low as in the high strata of almost all nations of

Europe.

Yet even here in

mental, so biologically societies

where

a

secured,

relation

there

funda-

are

certain

custom and laxity of innate im-

pulses allow of notable aberrations.

the system of sending the child

year or so of

so

its life

Thus we have

away

for

the

first

to a hired foster mother, a custom

once highly prevalent in the middle classes of France or the almost equally harmful system of protecting

the woman's breasts

by

hiring a foster mother, or

by

feeding the child on artificial food, a custom once


THE FORMATION OF A COMPLEX among

prevalent

the wealthy classes, though to-day

Here again the

generally stigmatized as unnatural. sociologist has to

add

his share in order to give the

true picture of motherhood, as national, economic

now

Let us

and moral

Melanesiai;

it

varies according to

differences.

turn to consider the same relation

in a matrilineal society

The

21

on the shores

woman shows

of the Pacific.

invariably a passionate

craving for her child, and the surrounding society

seconds her feelings, fosters her incUnations and idealizes

them by custom and

usage.

of pregnancy, the expectant

From

the

first

moments

mother

is

made

to watch

over the welfare of her future offspring

number pregnant

of food taboos

woman

reverence,

an

The

and other observances.

regarded by custom as an object of

ideal

actual behaviour exists

is

by keeping a

and

which

is

fully realized

feelings of these natives.

by the There

an elaborate ceremony performed at the

first

pregnancy, with an intricate and somewhat obscure aim, but emphasizing the importance of the event

and conferring on the pregnant woman

distinction

and

honour. After the birth, mother and child are secluded for

about a month, the mother constantly tending her child

and nursing

it,

while certain female relatives

only are admitted into the hut.

normal circumstances

is

Adoption under

very rare, and even then the

child is usually given over only after it has been


SEX AND REPRESSION

22

weaned, nor

is it

nearest

relatives

vances,

such

child, special

ever adopted

by

exclusively.

A number

as

strangers, but

washing

ritual

of

by

obser-

of

mother and

taboos to be kept by the mother, and

visits of presentation,

bind mother and child by links

custom superimposed upon the natural

ones.^

Thus

adjustment

of

in both societies, to the biological

of instinct there are

added the

morals and manners,

all

social forces of

custom,

working in the same direction

of binding mother and child to each other, of giving

them

scope for the passionate intimacy of mother-

full

This harmony between social and biological

hood.

forces ensures full satisfaction

and the highest

Society co-operates with nature to repeat the

bliss.

happy

womb, broken by the trauma of Rank, in a work which has already

conditions in the Dr.

birth.

proved of some importance for the development of psycho-analysis, 2 has indicated

the significance for

later Ufe of intra-uterine existence

and

its

Whatever we might think about the trauma '

there

is

reaUze,

no doubt that the

by the

working

first

of

months

both

memories. '

of birth,

after birth

biological

and

An

important form of the taboo observed by a mother after birth is the sexual abstinence enjoined upon her. For a beautiful expression of the high moral view of natives concerning this custom see The Contact of Races and Clash of Culture, by G. Pitt-Rivers, ^

1927, chap,

viii, sec. 3.

Das Trauma der Geburt (1924). Needless to say, the conclusions of Dr. Rank's book are entirely unacceptable to the present writer, who is not able to adopt any of the recent developments of psycho*

analysis nor even to understand their meaning.


THE FORMATION OF A COMPLEX a state of

sociological forces, '

trauma

of weaning.

'

from this state of

broken by

bliss

23 the

The exceptional aberrations be found only

affairs are to

among

the higher strata of civilized communities.

We find

a

much

of the patriarchal

and

it is

greater difference in the fatherhood

and matrilineal family

at this period,

rather unexpected to find that in a savage

where the physical bonds of paternity are

society,

unknown, and where mother should yet stand in a

right obtains, the father

much more

intimate relation to

the children than normally happens

among

ourselves.

For in our own society, the father plays a very small part indeed in the usage,

life

young

of a

By

infant.

and manners, the well-to-do father

is

custom,

kept out

of the nursery, while the peasant or working

man

has to leave the child to his wife for the greater part of the twenty-four hours.

He may

perhaps resent

the attention which the infant claims, and the time

which

it

takes up, but as a rule he neither helps nor

interferes with a small child.

Among the Melanesians purely social relation

duty towards his

them

'

fatherhood,' as

wife's children

into his arms

',

we know, is a

Part of this relation consists in his

.

;

he

is

there to receive '

a phrase we have already quoted

;

he has to carry them about when on the march the

mother

is tired,

and he has to

assist in the nursing at

home. He tends them in their natural needs, and cleanses them, and there are

many

stereotyped expressions


SEX AND REPRESSION

24

in the native language referring to fatherhood its

hardships,

A

him.

and to the duty

of fiUal gratitude

typical Trobriand father

and conscientious nurse and

in this

children, all

is

towards

a hard-working

is

he obeys the

The

of duty, expressed in social tradition.

however, that the father

and

call

fact

is,

always interested in the

sometimes passionately

so,

and performs

his duties eagerly and fondly.

Thus, if we compare the patriarchal and the matriUneal relation at this early stage,

we see that

In our society, the father

difference lies with the father. is

kept

weU

nate part.

out of the picture,

with

and has at best a subordi-

In the Trobriands, he plays a

active role, which gives

the main point of

is

important above

all

much more because

it

him a far greater scope for forming ties of affection his

children.

In

both

found with a few exceptions,

societies

little

between the biological trend and the

room

there

is

for conflict,

social conditions.


IV

FATHERHOOD

TX 7E

IN

MOTHER-RIGHT

have now reached the period when the child already weaned,

is

and begins to speak. gaining

when

it is

learning to walk

Yet biologically

it is

but slowly

independence from the mother's body.

its

It clings to her

with undiminished, passionate desire

for her presence, for the touch of her

body and the

tender clasp of hen arms.

This

is

the natural, biological tendency, but in our

society, at

one stage or another, the child's desires are

crossed and thwarted. Let us

first

realize that the period

upon which we now enter is introduced by the process of

By this the blissful harmony of infantile life is broken, or at least modified. Among the higher classes, weaning.

weaning that

it

women is

is

so

graduated

prepared,

usually passes without

and adjusted

any shock.

But among

of the lower classes, in our society,

weaning

often a painful wrench for the mother and certainly

for

the child.

Later on,

other obstacles tend

to

obtrude upon the intimacy of the mother with the child,

whom at that stage a notable change is taking place. He becomes independent in his movements, can feed

in

himself, express

some

of his feelings 25

and

ideas,

and


SEX AND REPRESSION

26

begins to understand and to observe. classes,

In the higher

the nursery arrangements separate the mother

from the child in a gradual manner. with any shock, but

it

This dispenses

leaves a gap in the child's

a yearning and an unsatisfied need.

life,

In the lower

where the child shares the parents' bed,

classes,

becomes

at a certain time a source of

and an encumbrance, and

suffers

it

embarrassment

a rude and more

brutal repulsion.

How

does savage motherhood on the coral islands

New

of

Guinea compare at this stage with ours

First of

all,

at a time

weaning takes place much

when the

run about,

eat

other interests.

when the breast '

child

is

?

life,

already independent, can

and foUow

everjrthing

practically It

later in

takes place, that

is,

at a

moment

child neither wants nor needs the mother's

any more, so that the

first

wrench

is

eliminated.

Matriarchate,' the rule of the mother, does not in

any way

entail a

stem, terrible mother-virago.

The

Trobriand mother carries her children, fondles them,

and plays with them

at this stage quite as lovingly

as at the earlier period,

expects

it

from

her.

and custom as well as morals

The

child

is

bound to

her, also,

according to law, custom and usage, by a closer

than

is

tie

her husband, whose rights are subservient

to those of the offspring.

The psychology

of the

intimate marital relations has therefore a different character,

and the repulsion

of the

child

from the


THE FORMATION OF A COMPLEX mother by the father occurrence,

is

certainly

ever occurs at

if it

not

27

a typical

Another difference

all.

between the Melanesian and the typical European

mother

is

that the former

Since there

any moral education and

room

for severity.

is

the

and

to

among

us

the

desire

win her approval.

remembered,

is

one

attachment among

of

us,

for the

relation in later

begins

is

is

scarcely

;

to

of severity

on the other hand,

lessens the feeling of interest

child,

possibilities

what there

hand such aberrations

as are sometimes found

of

since

;

indulgent.

and hardly

This absence of maternal discipUne

precludes on the one

it

much more

done by other people, there

later

however,

is

training of the child,

is little

please

the

This desire,

the strong

on the part

it

Unks

mother,

must be of

filial

and one which holds great

establishment

of a

permanent

life.

Turning now to the paternal relation we see that, our society, irrespective of nationality or social the father is

still

enjoys the patriarchal status.^

in

class,

He

the head of the family and the relevant link in

the lineage, and he

is

also the economic provider.

^ Here again I should like to make an exception with regard to the modern American and British family. The father is in process of losing his patriarchal position. As conditions are in

however, it is not safe to take them into consideration here. Psycho-analysis cannot hope, I think, to preserve its " Oedipus complex " for future generations, who will only know a weak and henpecked father. For him the children will feel indulgent pity rather than hatred and fear flux,

!


SEX AND REPRESSION

28

As an absolute

ruler of the family,

become a tyrant,

in

which case

he

is

liable to

frictions of all sorts

The

between him and his wife and children.

arise

depend greatly on the

details of these

social milieu.

In the wealthy classes of Western civilization, the child is well separated

from his father by

all sorts

Although constantly with

of nursery arrangements.

the nurse, the child is usually attended to and controlled

by the mother, who,

in such cases, almost invariably

takes the dominant place in the child's affections.

The father, on the other hand,

is

seldom brought within

the child's horizon, and then only as an onlooker

and

stranger,

before

whom

behave themselves, show

the

children

and perform.

off

have to

He

is

the

source of authority, the origin of punishment, and therefore becomes a bogey.

a mixture

he

;

is

Usually the result

is

the perfect being for whose benefit

everything has to be done

whom

and, at the same time,

;

the child has to fear and

he

is

for

whose comfort, as the child soon reaUzes, the house-

hold

the

is

'

ogre

arranged.

will easily

'

The loving and sympathetic

assume the former

pompous, wooden, or suspicion

role of a demi-god.

tactless

and even hate

one

will

father

The

soon earn the

of the nursery.

In relation

to the father, the mother becomes an intermediary

who

is

sometimes ready to denounce the child to

the higher authority, but

who

intercede against punishment.

at the

same time can


THE FORMATION OF A COMPLEX The picture

is different,

though the

29

results are not

one-room and one-bed households

dissimilar, in the

of the poor peasantry of Central

and Eastern Europe,

or of the lower working classes.

The

father

is

brought

with the child, which in rare

into closer contact

circumstances allows of a greater affection, but usually

much more acute and chronic friction. When a father returns home tired from work, or drunk gives rise to

from the

inn,

mother and

children.

no poor quarter in a

modem

and

family, village,

he naturally vents his ill-temper on the

bullies

There

is

no

town, where

cases could not be found of sheer, patriarchal cruelty.

From my own memory,

could quote numerous

I

cases where peasant fathers would, on returning

home

drunk, beat the children for sheer pleasure, or drag

them out

Even

of

at

bed and send them into the cold night. best,

when the working

father returns

home, the children have to keep quiet, stop rowdy

games and repress spontaneous, of joy

The father

and sorrow.

of punishment in

mother acts as

is

a supreme source

poor households

intercessor,

outbursts

childish

also,

while the

and often shares

treatment meted out to the children.

in the

In the poorer

households, moreover, the economic role of provider

and the and

social

power

of the father are

definitely recognized,

and

act in the

more quickly

same

direction

as his personal influence.

The

role of the Melanesian father at this stage is


SEX AND REPRESSION

30

very different from that of the European patriarch. I

have

briefly sketched in

social position as

Chapter IV his very different

husband and

He

plays in the household.

father, is

and the part he

not the head of the

family, he does not transmit his lineage to his children,

nor

is

he the main provider of food.

This entirely

changes his legal rights and his personal attitude to his wife.

A

Trobriand

his wife, hardly ever will

man

seldom quarrel with

will

attempt to brutalize her, and he

never be able to exercise a permanent tyranny.

Even sexual co-habitation

is

not regarded by native

law and usage as the wife's duty and the husband's privilege, as is the case in

the husband

is

The Trobriand

our society.

natives take the view, dictated

by

tradition,

that

indebted to his wife for sexual services,

that he has to deserve

them and pay

for

them.

One

of the ways, the chief way, in fact, of acquitting

himself of this duty children

many

is

and showing

by performing

these

There are

affection to them.

native sayings which

folk-lore

services for her

principles.

embody In

the

in a sort of loose child's

infancy

the husband has been the nurse, tender and loving later

on in early childhood he plays with

and teaches

it

it,

carries

;

it,

such amusing sports and occupations

as take its fancy.

Thus the of the tribe

legal,

and

all

moral and customary tradition the forces of organization combine

to give the man, in his conjugal

and paternal

rdle.


THE FORMATION OF A COMPLEX an entirely

And though it

permeates

all

the

The children never

every detail of daily relations

see their

within

not even when she

They never not

is

feel his

upon her husband,

a commoner married to a chief.

heavy hand on themselves

He

he

;

has no rights or prerogatives.

as does every normal father

feels,

there.

kinsman, nor their owner, nor their

their

benefactor.

the

mother subjugated or

brutalized or in abject dependence

he

detached

and dominates the sentiments found

family,

is

a patriarch.

legal principle,

It expresses itself in

life.

existence,

of

has to be defined in an abstract manner,

by no means a mere

this is

from

from that

different attitude

31

world, a strong affection for

them

;

and

Yet

all

over the

this,

together

with his traditional duties, makes him try to win their

and thus to

love,

retain his influence over them.

Comparing European with Melanesian paternity, is

well

the

as

and tender

affectionate

But

this

in

the

many

on a parent.

and

in

feelings

for

hardships

When,

his

children.

which

children

therefore, society steps is

the

and that the children should be there

for his benefit, pleasure

the

is

a tendency towards

one case declares that the father

absolute master,

tilts

man

there

tendency seems not to be strong enough

outweigh

entail

Biologically

sociological.

undoubtedly in the average

to

it

important to keep in mind the biological facts as

and

balance against

glory, this social influence

a happy equilibrium of


SEX AND REPRESSION

32 natural

affection

and natural

impatience

When, on the other hand, a

nuisance.

society grants the father

no

privileges

to his children's affections, then he

and when

again,

in

the

of

matrilineal

and no

right

must earn them,

the same uncivilized society,

there are fewer strains on his nerves and his ambitions

and

his

himself

economic

up to

his

responsibilities,

he

is

paternal instincts.

freer to give

Thus

society the adjustment between biological forces,

which was satisfactory in

begins to

show a lack

of

earliest

harmony

and

a

is

source of family conflict, in

social

childhood,

later on.

Melanesian society, the harmonious relations

Father -right, we have seen,

in our

In the

persist.

to a great extent

that

it

grants

to

the father social claims and prerogatives not com-

mensurate with his biological propensities, nor with the personal affection which he can feel for and arouse in his children.


INFANTILE SEXUALITY

T^RAVERSING

the same ground as Freud and the

psycho-analysts,

I

have yet tried to keep clear

of the subject of sex, partly in order to

the sociological aspect in to avoid of

moot

my

emphasize

account, partly in order

theoretical distinctions as to the nature

mother-and-child attachment or the libido '

this stage, as the children begin to play

and develop an

accessible

to

independently

interest in the surrounding

people, sexuality

makes

outside

its first

life.^

work and

appearance in forms

sociological

directly affecting family

But at

' .

A

and

observation

careful observer of

European children, and one who has^not forgotten

his

own

childhood, has to recognize that at an early age,

say,

between three and

four, there arises in

a special sort of interest and curiosity.

world of lawful, normal and nice '

^

The reader who

'

Besides the

things, there opens

interested in infantile sexuality

is

them

and child

psychology should also consult A. Moll, Das Sexualleben des Kindes Havelock Ellis's Studies in the Psychology of Sex (1919 ed., (1908) pp. 13 seqq., also vol. i, 1910 ed., pp. 36 seqq. and 235 seqq. and passim). The books of Ploss-Renz, Das Kind in Brauch und Sitte der Volker (Leipzig, 1911-12); Charlotte Biihler, Das Seelenleben des Jugendlichen (1925) and the works of William Stern on Child Psychology are also important. ;

;

33

D


'

SEX AND REPRESSION

34

up a world

of shame-faced desires, clandestine interests

The two

and subterranean impulses. things,

'

decent

categories of

and indecent ', pure and impure '

'

'

'

destined to remain

begin to crystallize,

categories

throughout

some people the

In

life.

',

'

'

'

indecent

becomes completely suppressed, and the right values of decency

become

hypertrophied

virtue of the puritan,

into

or the

the

virulent

more repulsive

still

hypocrisy of the conventionally moral. Or the decent '

altogether smothered through glut in pornographic

is

satisfaction,

and the other category develops into

a complete pruriency of mind, not

than hypocritical

'

virtue

'

less

itself.

In the second stage of childhood which considering, that

is

according to

my

we

round

exhibitionism

interests

and games

of reproduction.

indecent

witii

often associated with cruelty.

between the sexes, and

excretory

in

now

'

indecent functions,

exposure,

hardly differentiates

It

is little

are

scheme from

an age of about four to six years, the centres

repulsive

interested in the act

Anyone who has

lived for a long

time among peasants and knows intimately their child-

hood

will recognize that this state of affairs exists as

thing normal, though not open. classes things

^

seem to be

That conscientious

similar.*

sociologist, Zola,

Among the working Among the higher

has provided us with rich

material on the subject, entirely in agreement with tions.

a

my own observa-


''

THE FORMATION OF A COMPLEX classes

'

indecencies

'

much more

are

35

suppressed, but

not very different. Observations in these social strata,

which would be more

difficult

than among peasants,

should, however, be urgently carried out for pedagogical,

moral and eugenic reasons, and suitable methods research

of

confirm to an

would,

results

extraordinary

Freud and

assertions of

How

The

devised.

I

degree some

think, of

the

his school.^

does the newly awakened infantile sexuaUty

or infantile indecency influence the relation to the

family

In the division between things

?

and indecent '

',

and remain

by the

wholly

within

the

category,

first

mind absolutely untouched

in the child's

indecent.'

'

decent

the parents, and especially the mother,

included

are

'

The

feeling

might be aware of any prurient

that

the mother

infantile

extremely distasteful to the child, and there

is

play

is

a strong

disinclination to allude in her presence or to speak

with her about any sexual matters.

who

also

is

kept strictly outside the

The '

father,

indecent

category, is, moreover, regarded as the moral authority

whom ^

these thoughts and pastimes would offend.

Freud's contentions of the normal occurrence of premature between the sexes, of anal-eroticism

sexuality, of little differentiation

of genital interest are, according to my observations, In a recent article (Zeitschrift ]ur Psycho-Analyse, 1923), Freud has somewhat modified his previous view, and affirms, without giving arguments, that children at this stage have, after all, already

and absence correct.

a

'

genital

'

interest.

With

this I

cannot agree.


SEX AND REPRESSION

36

For the

'

indecent

'

always carries with

it

a sense of

guilt.i

Freud and the psycho-analjrtic school have

laid great

on the sexual rivalry between mother and

stress

opinion

and son

father

daughter, is

that

the

respectively.

My own

between mother and

rivalry

At any

daughter does not begin at this early stage. rate,

I

have never observed any

relations

The

it.

between father and son are more complex.

Although, as

have

I

said, the little

boy has no thoughts,

or impulses towards his

desires

traces of

mother which he

himself would feel belong to the category of the 'indecent', there

can be no doubt that a young

organism reacts

sexually

with the mother.

2

A

to

close

bodily

contact

well-known piece of advice

^ The attitude of the modern man and woman is rapidly changing. At present we studiously enlighten our children, and keep sex neatly prepared for them. In the first place, however, we must remember that we are dealing here with a minority even among '

'

'

'

the British and American " intelligentsia ". In the second place, I am not at all certain whether the bashfulness and awkward attitude of children towards their parents in matters of sex will be to any great extent overcome by this method of treatment. There seems to exist a general tendency even among adults to eliminate the dramatic, upsetting, and mysterious emotional elements out of any stable relationship based on every-day intercourse. Even among unrepressed Trobrianders the parent is never the essentially '

'

the confidant in matters of sex. It it is

to

make any

is

remarkable how

much

easier

delicate or shameful confession to those friends

and acquaintances who are not too intimately connected with our daily hfe.

Since this was first written in 1921, I have changed my views The statement that 'a young organism reacts sexually to close bodily contact with the mother appears to me *

on this subject.

'


THE FORMATION OF A COMPLEX by

given

young mothers

old gossips to

communities

is

37

in peasant

to the effect that boys above the age

of three should sleep separately from the mother.

The occurrence

of infantile erections is well

in these communities, as clings to the

mother

is

known boy

also the fact that the

in a different

way from

the

girl.

That the father and the young male child have a

component

under such conditions

of sexual rivalry

seems probable, even to an outside sociological observer.

Among

The psycho-analysts maintain it categorically.

the wealthier classes crude conflicts arise more seldom, if

ever,

refined It

but they arise in imagination and in a more

though perhaps not

less insidious form.

must be noted that at

begins to

show a

this stage

different character

when the

child

and temperament

according to sex, the parents' feelings are differentiated

between sons and daughters.

The

who

son his successor, the one

is

father sees in the

to replace

the family lineage and in the household. therefore all the feelings in

two

more

critical,

directions

:

and

if

of mental or physical deficiency,

him

He becomes

this influences his

the boy shows signs if

he

is

not up to the

type of the ideal in which the father believes, he

be a source of bitter disappointment and

On

the other

in

will

hostility.

hand, even at this stage, a certain

now absurd. I am glad I may use this strong word, having written the absurd statement myself. I have set forth what appears to me the adequate analysis of this phase in infantile psychology later on, Part IV, Chapter IX.


â&#x20AC;&#x201D; SEX AND REPRESSION

38

amount

of rivalry, the resentment of future super-

session,

and the melancholy of the waning generation Repressed in both cases, this

lead again to hostility.

hostility hardens the father against the son

by reaction a

and provokes

The mother,

response in hostile feelings.

on the other hand, has no grounds

negative

for

sentiments, and has an additional admiration for the

man

son as a

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

daughter hardly

The

to be.

father's feeling towards the

a repetition of himself in a feminine form to evoke a tender emotion,

fails

Thus

also to flatter his vanity.

and perhaps

social factors

mix

with biological and make the father cUng more tenderly to the daughter than to the son, while with the mother it

But

the reverse.

is

must be noted that an

it

attraction to the offspring of the other sex, because is of

the other sex,

In Melanesia, of sexual

could

an altogether

do not essentially

But be

I

clandestine

functions

have

called

subterranean in

find

or

differ,

failed to find

infantile

world

in

pastimes

different

type

That the biological

development in the child.

impulses doubt.

not necessarily sexual attraction.

is

we

it

any traces

indecencies,

which

beyond

seems

children

of

or

what of

a

indulge

centring

round excretory

The

subject naturally

exhibitionism.

presents certain difficulties of observation, for

it

is

hard to enter into any personal communication with a savage child, and

if

there were a world of indecent

things as amongst ourselves,

it

would be as

futile


â&#x20AC;&#x201D; THE FORMATION OF A COMPLEX to inquire

about

it

39

from an average grown-up native

as from a conventional mother, father, or nurse in

But there

our society.

is

one circumstance which

makes matters so

entirely

natives that there

no danger

with them there

this is that

censure,

is

no moral reprobation

of the genital

later stage

among

different of

these

making a mistake

:

no repression, no

is

of infantile sexuality

type when it comes to light at a somewhat

than the one we are now considering

at about the age of five or six. earlier indecency, this

So

if

could be as

there were easily

any

observed

as the later genital stage of sexual plays.

How there '

is

can we then explain

no period

anal-erotic

this

better

'

interest

why among

what Freud

of ?

when we

calls

'

savages

pre-genital',

We shall be able to understand discuss the

sexuality of the

next stage in the child's development, a sexuality in

which native Melanesian children

from our own.

differ essentially


VI

APPRENTICESHIP TO LIFE

TX 7E

now on

enter

the third stage of childhood,

commencing between the ages At

same

own games,

age, with

whom

it

and seven.

begins to feel independent,

this period a child

to create its

of five

to seek for associates of the

has a tendency to roam about

unencumbered by grown-up people.

This

when play begins

definite occupa-

tions

and

serious

more

to pass into

the time

life interests.

In Europe,

Let us follow our parallel at this stage. entrance into school or,

some

is

among

the uneducated classes,

sort of preliminary apprenticeship to

an economic

occupation removes the child from the influence of the family.

The boy or

their exclusive

girl

lose

to

some extent

attachment to the mother.

With the

boy, there frequently takes place at this period a transference of sentiment to a substitute for the

time being

passionate tenderness

is

mother,

who

regarded with some of the

felt for

the mother, but with no

other feelings.

Such transference must not be con-

fused with the

much

boys to

fall

in love with

At the same time, there

later

tendency of adolescent

women arises 40

older than themselves.

a desire for independence


THE FORMATION OF A COMPLEX from the all-possessive intimacy of maternal which makes the child withhold

Among

from the parent.

classes, the process of

interest,

absolute confidence

the peasants and lower

emancipation from the mother

than

takes place earlier

its

41

the higher,

in

When

similar in all essentials.

but

the mother

is

it

deeply

attached to the child, especially to the boy, she apt to

feel

amount

a certain

This usually

painful

and

its

violent.

show a

even more

in

makes the wrench only more

The children on the Pacific

is

and resentment

and to put obstacles

at this emancipation

way.

of jealousy

is

coral beaches of the

similar tendency.

clearly,

for

Western

This appears there

the absence of compulsory

education and of any strict discipline at this age allows a

much

freer play to the natural inclinations

of infantile nature. is

in

Melanesia,

On

the part of the mother there

or anxiety at the child's

and here we

no jealous resentment

however,

new-found independence,

see the influence of the lack of

any deep,

educational interest between mother and child. this stage, the children in the

At

Trobriand archipelago

begin to form a small juvenile community within the community.

They roam about

in bands, play

on

distant beaches or in secluded parts of the jungle, join with other small

communities of children from

neighbouring villages, and in

obey the commands of their

all

this,

though they

child-leaders, they are


â&#x20AC;&#x201D; SEX AND REPRESSION

42

almost

to interfere with

any

the

of

elders'

The parents never try to keep them back,

authority.

to

independent

completely

them At

routine.

any way or to bind them

in

of course, the family

first,

still

retains a considerable hold over the child, but the

process

emancipation progresses gradually and

of

constantly in an untrammelled, natural manner. In this there

is

a great difference between European

where the child often passes from the

conditions,

intimacy of the family to the cold discipline of the school or other preliminary training, and the Melanesian state of affairs where the process of emancipation is

gradual, free and pleasailt.

And now what about

the father at this stage

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;here again

?

excluding certain modern

In our society

America

and

phases

of

he

represents the principle of authority within

still

family

the family.

Outside,

at the preliminary of

peasants

at

in the

school,

set

to

do,

In

the

higher

classes

at

child

is

either

the

who

wields

the

this

stage,

the

it

father in person or his substitute

power.

workshop,

manual labour which the

often

is

Britain

in

life

very important process of conscious formation of paternal authority and

The

place.

what father's

family,

child

had

it

and

his

begins

guessed

established

the father

of

now

and

ideal

comprehend

to

felt

takes

before

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the

authority as the head of the

economic influence.

The

ideal of his


THE FORMATION OF A COMPLEX wisdom,

infallibility,

and

in varying degrees

and might

justice,

Now the role

and moral teaching.

an easy one, and to maintain daily

life

a

is

very

especially for one

it

of

in reUgious

an ideal

is

never

in the intimacy

of

performance indeed,

difficult

whose bad tempers and

follies

are

Thus no sooner

not repressed by any discipline.

is

it

begins to decompose.

child feels at first only a

vague malaise at his

the father ideal formed than

The

usually

ways inculcated

in different

by the mother or the nurse

in the child

is

43

father's

bad temper or weakness, a

fear of his wrath,

a dim feeling of injustice, perhaps some shame when the father has a really bad outburst. father-sentiment

is

formed,

Soon the typical of

full

contradictory

emotions, a mixture of reverence, contempt, affection

and

tenderness and fear.

dislike,

It is at this period

of childhood that the social influence

makes

institutions

itself felt in

towards the male parent.

due to patriarchal

the child's attitude

Between the boy and

father the rivalries of successor

his

and superseded, and

the mutual jealousies described in the previous section, crystallize

elements

more

distinctly

the

of

dominant than

Among the

and make the negative

father-to-son

relation

more pre-

in the case of father-to-daughter.

lower classes, the process of the idealiza-

tion of the father is cruder but not less important.

As

I

have already

household

is

said, the father in a typical peasant

openly a tyrant.

The mother acquiesces


SEX AND REPRESSION

44 in his

supremacy and imparts the attitude to her

who

children,

reverence and at the same time fear

the strong and brutal force embodied in their father.

Here also a sentiment composed is

of ambivalent emotion

formed, with a distinct preference of the father

for his female children.

What

the father's role in Melanesia

is

be said about

it

at

this

He

stage.

continues to

befriend the children, to help them, to teach

what they it is

like

and as much

as they like.

true, are less interested in

prefer,

father

him

them

Children,

at this stage

on the whole, their small comrades. is

need

Little

?

and

But the

always there as a helpful adviser, half play-

mate, half protector.

Yet at

this period the principle of tribal

authority, the submission to constraint

law and

and

to the

prohibition of certain desirable things enters the of a

young

or boy.

girl

are represented father,

But

this

life

law and constraint

by quite another person than the

by the mother's brother, the male head

of the

He it is who actually who indeed makes ample

family in a matriarchal society. wields

the potestas and

use of

it.

His authority, though closely parallel to that of the father

with

it.

ourselves,

is

not exactly identical

First of all his influence is introduced into

the child's father.

among life

Then

much

later

than that of the European

again, he never enters the intimacy


THE FORMATION OF A COMPLEX of family

life,

45

but lives in another hut and often in a

different village, for, since marriage is patrilocal in the

Trobriands, his sister and her children have their abode

husband and

in the village of the

power

is

He

whether boy or

girl,

brings into the

two elements and

prohibition

duty,

especially into the

which are

of the child,

life

first

:

his

cannot

it

in those small matters

most irksome.

of

a distance and

exercised from

become oppressive

Thus

father.

constraint

:

of

all,

that

secondly,

of the boy, the elements of

life

ambition, pride and social values, half of that, in fact,

which makes

life

worth living

The constraint comes

in,

in

for the Trobriander.

so

far

as

he begins

to direct the boy's occupations, to require certain of his services

and

and to teach him some

prohibitions.

Many

inculcated into the boy (mother's brother) real authority

A boy of six to

parents, but the kada

always held up to him as the

is

behind the will

have already been

of these

by the

of the tribal laws

rules.

be solicited by his mother's brother

come on an expedition,

to begin

some work

gardens, to assist in the carrying of crops.

out these

activities,

in his maternal uncle's village

and together with other members learns that he

clan

;

is

;

of his clan, the

boy

contributing to the hutura of his

he begins to

and own people

in the

In carrying

feel

that this

is his

to learn the traditions,

legends of his clan.

The

child

at

this

own

village

myths and stage also


46

SEX AND REPRESSION

frequently

co-operates

interesting

to

with his father,

is

it

note the difference in the attitude

The

he has toward the two elders.

remains his intimate assist

and

he

;

likes to

him and learn from him

father

still

work with him,

but he reahzes more

;

and more that such co-operation

based on goodwill

is

and not on law, and that the pleasure derived from must be

its

own

reward, but that the glory of

The

to a clan of strangers.

child also sees his

it

it

goes

mother

receiving orders from her brother, accepting favours

from him, treating him with the greatest reverence, crouching before him like a commoner to a chief.

He

gradually begins to understand that he

is

his

maternal uncle's successor, and that he will also be

a master over his

sisters,

by a

already separated

is

from

whom

at this time he

taboo forbidding

social

any intimacy.

The maternal uncle

who should be

is,

like the father

model to be imitated in the most

of the elements,

among

He

the

Thus we

future.

though not

difficult in

Melanesians

has the power, he

us,

and who must be made the

pleased,

the father's r61e so

among

held up to him as the person

idealized to the boy,

in

all,

see that

which make

our society, are vested the

is idealized,

mother's to

him the

brother.

children

and the mother are subjected, while the father is entirely reUeved of all these odious prerogatives and characteristics.

But the mother's brother introduces


â&#x20AC;&#x201D; THE FORMATION OF A COMPLEX new elements which make

the child to certain

more

bigger,

47

interesting,

and

greater

of

life

appeal

social ambition, traditional glory, pride in his lineage

and

kinship, promises of future wealth, power,

and

social status. It

must be

European complex

realized that at

child

to

starts

when our way in our

the time

find

its

social relations, the Melanesian girl or

boy

also begins to grasp the principle of kinship which is

the main foundation of the social order.

These

principles cut across the intimacy of family life

and

up

rearrange for the child the social world which

to

now

of

family,

consisted for further

The

community.

distinguish above

To

veyola.

mother,

his

uncle and

himself.

child

now

brothers

and

The women

of his clan

related

his real

kinsmen,

first

place his

his

maternal

These are people who

same substance or the

'

same body

to obey,

to

'

as

co-operate

work, war and personal quarrels.

and

tabooed sexually for him.

this

of

sisters,

kinsmen.

assist in

By

village

learns that he has to

consists

The men he has

of

and

neighbours

these belong in the

with and to

consists

the extended

circles

and across these groups two main

all their

are of the

of

family,

The one

categories. his

him

of his kinship are strictly

The other

the stran^gers or

name are called all by matrilineal ties,

'

social category

outsiders

those people or

',

tomakava.

who

are not

who do not belong

to


SEX AND REPRESSION

48 the

same

father

and

But

clan.

group comprises also the

this

his relations,

male and female, and the

women whom he may marry have love

affairs.

Now

or with

these people,

whom and

he

may

especially

the father, stand to him in a very close personal relation which, however,

and moraUty.

is

by law

entirely ignored

Thus we have on the one

side the

consciousness of identity and kinship associated with social ambitions

and

pride,

and sexual prohibition relation to the father

;

and

but also with constraint

and on the other,

in the

his relatives, free friendship

and natural sentiment

as well as sexual liberty, but

no personal identity or

traditional bonds.


VII

THE SEXUALITY OF LATER CHILDHOOD

TT TE

now

pass

to the problem of sexual

third period call

it,

which

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;the

life

later childhood, as

in the

we might

covering the stage of free play and movement,

from about

lasts

five or

six

till

puberty.

I

kept the discussion of sex separate from that of the social

influences

period of child

when

life,

and

with the

dealing I

shall

previous

do the same here, so

as to bring out clearly the respective contributions of

organism and society. In modern Europe, according to Freud, there sets

in

at

this

age a very curious phenomenon

regression of sexuaUty, in the

a period of latency, a

the lull

development of sexual functions and impulses.

What makes

this latency period especially

Freudian scheme of neuroses

in the

which

:

is

associated with

it,

is

the curtain of complete

oblivion which falls at this period

and which

the reminiscences of infantile sexuahty.

enough,

this

of Freud's

is

important

the amnesia

obliterates

Remarkably

important and interesting contention not endorsed by other students.

instance, Moll, in his

memoir on 49

For

infantile sexuality

B


SEX AND REPRESSION

50

very thorough and competent contribution)/ makes

(a

no mention of any

lull in

sexual development.

contrary, his account implies a steady

On

the

and gradual

increase of sexuality in the child, the curve rising in a continuous

manner without any kink.

It

is

remarkable to 'find that Freud himself at times appears

Thus

to vacillate.

of all the periods of childhood

this

one has no clear and explicit chapter devoted

to

and

it

in one or

two places Freud even withdraws

about

his contention

its

Yet,

existence.^

affirm on the basis of material derived

if

I

may

from personal

knowledge of well-educated schoolboys, the latency period invariably sets in

and

lasts

at

about the sixth year

from two to four years.

interest in indecencies

colours which they

flags,

How

interest

this

time

the lurid yet alluring

had fade away, and they are

repressed and forgotten while

take up the

During

new

things arise to

and energy.

we to explain the divergency in Freud's own views as weU as the ignoring of the facts by other are

students of sex It

*

is

clear

?

that

we do not

deal

here with

a

A. Moll, Das Sexualleben des Kindes, 1908.

The latency period

is frequently mentioned, for instance, in Drei Abhandlungen, 5th edition, pp. 40, 44, 64 Vorlesungen, 1922, p. 374. But there is no special treatment of it in any of these books. Again, we read, " Die Latenzzeit kann auch entfallen. Sie braucht â&#x20AC;˘

;

keine Unterbrechung der Sexualbetatigung, der Sexualinteressen

mit sich zu bringen," Vorlesungen,

loc. cit.


THE FORMATION OF A COMPLEX phenomenon deeply rooted but with one largely social factors.

if

we

If

in

man's organic nature,

not wholly determined by

turn to a comparative survey

of the various layers of society,

that

difficulty

among

pronounced. cast

among

perceive without especially

much

is

In order to see matters clearly,

back to the previous period

genital sexuaUty

saw

we

the lower classes,

the latency period

peasants,

in Chapter

and

V

51

how

see

let

of infantile

the two

less

link up.

us

pre-

We

that in the lower as well as in the

higher strata there exists at an early age this strong interest in the 'indecent'.

however,

it

Among

appears somewhat later and has a shghtly

different character.

Let us compare once more the

sources of 'anal-eroticism', as

among

peasant children,

it is

called

by Freud,

the children of the lower and higher classes.^

In the nursery of the weU-to-do baby, the natural functions,

the

interest

in

are

excretion,

encouraged, and then suddenly stopped. or mother,

who up

at

first

The nurse

to a certain point tries to stimulate

the performance, praises the prompt execution and

shows the

results, discovers at

the child takes too to play in a

much

a certain moment that

interest in

it

and begins

manner that to the grown-up appears

unclean, though to the child

it is

perfectly natural.

^ I would not now use the ugly neologism anal-eroticism ', but as long as a term is defined there is no harm in borrowing it from a dctrine which is being discussed. '


SEX AND REPRESSION

52

Then the nursery authority makes

an

it

and

offence,

The

repressed.

steps in, slaps the child,

and the

interest

is

violently

child grows up, the reticences, frowns,

begin

artificialities

to

surround

the

natural

and mysterious

functions with clandestine interest attraction.

Those who remember from their own childhood

how

strongly

hints

and sous-entendus

meaning

is

such

From

'

observations

as from

of

felt

is

and how well

its

understood by the child, recognize that

category of

the

atmosphere

repressive

a

memory,

indecent of

it is

'

is

children,

moreover,

Among

becoming

how

easy to ascertain

and how soon the children catch up of elders,

little prigs,

by

created

elders.

as

well

quickly

artificial attitudes

moralists,

and snobs.

peasants, conditions are quite different.

The

children are instructed in sexual matters at an early

age

they cannot help seeing sexual performances

:

of their parents

and other

relatives

;

they listen to

quarrels in which whole lists of sexual obscenities

and

technicalities are recited.

They have

domestic animals, whose propagation in is

to deal with

all its details

a matter of great concern to the whole household

and

is

freely

and minutely discussed.

Since they

are deeply steeped in things natural, they feel less

incUned to amuse themselves by doing in a clandestine

manner that which enjoy openly.

in

many ways

The children

they can do and

of the

working classes


THE FORMATION OF A COMPLEX stand perhaps

Hardly

midway between

the two extremes.

in contact with animals, they receive,

other hand,

53

an even greater amount

on the

bedroom

of

demonstration and public-house instruction.

What

the result of these essential differences

is

between well-to-do and proletarian children of is

all,

the

fostered

much

less

'

First

?

indecency which among bourgeois children '

by the repression of the natural pronounced in the lower

curiosities is

classes,

and comes

up only later where indecency

is

with ideas of genital sexuality.

In the higher classes,

when the itself

out,

curiosity about

already associated

indecencies

and with the leaving

has

played

of the nursery

interests in life crop up, the period of latency sets in

and these new

interests

new now

absorb the child,

while the absence of knowledge which

is

usual

among

children of the educated prevents the genital interest setting in so early.

In the lower classes this knowledge and early curiosity in genital matters are present at the

same

time and establish a continuity, a steady development

from the early period to that of

full

sexual puberty.

The nature of social influences collaborates with these facts to produce a

much

greater breach of continuity

in the life of a well-to-do child. life

up

he has

While

to the age of six v;as devoted to

now suddenly

The peasant

child

to learn

his

whole

amusement,

and to do school-work.

had already previously been helping


SEX AND REPRESSION

54

with the cooking or looking after the younger children, or running after the geese

there

no breach of continuity in

is

At

and sheep.

this time,

his Ufe.

Thus, while the early childish interest in the indecent

awakens earUer and

and proletarian

form in the peasant

in another

child,

less

is

it

clandestine, less

associated with guilt, hence less immoral, less erotic

sex.

It

anal-

more

passes

and with more continuity into early sexual

easily

play,

and more attached to

'

*

and the period

absent

or, at

any

of latency is almost completely

rate,

much

pronounced.

less

This

explains why psycho-analysis, which deals with neurotic well-to-do people, has led to the discovery of this period,

while the general medical observations of Dr. Moll did

not detect

But

if

it.

there could be

any doubt about the

of this difference between

the classes

cause, such doubt should disappear

to Melanesia.

Here certainly the

facts are different classes.

As

saw in Chapter V, the early sexual indecencies,

clandestine games it

its

when we turn

from those found among our educated

we

facts

and about

and

interests are absent.

In fact,

might be said that for these children the categories

of decent-indecent, pure-impure,

do not

same reasons which make

distinction

and

less

this

The

exist.

weaker

important among our peasants than among

our bourgeois act even more strongly and directly

among

the Melanesians.

In Melanesia there

is

no


â&#x20AC;&#x201D; THE FORMATION OF A COMPLEX taboo on sex in general veils

a

is

no putting

of

any

on natural functions, certainly not in the case of

When we

child.

run

there

;

55

about

naked,

that

consider that

their

children

these

functions

excretory

are treated openly and naturally, that there

is

no

general taboo on bodily parts or on nakedness in

when we

further consider that small children

at the age of three

and four are beginning to be aware

general

;

of the existence of such a thing as genital sexuality,

and

of the fact that this will be their pleasure quite

soon just as other infantile plays will be

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

can see

^we

that social factors rather than biological explain the

between the two

difference

The stage which

I

societies.

am now describing in

Melanesia

that which corresponds to our latency period stage of infantile independence,

and

girls

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

is

the

where small boys

play together in a sort of juvenile republic.

Now, one

of

the main interests of these children

consists of sexual pastijnes.

are initiated

by each

At an early age children

other, or sometimes

by a

older companion, into the practices of sex.

slightly

Naturally

at this stage they are unable to carry out the act

properly, but they content themselves with all sorts of

games

elders,

in

which they are

and thus they can

their sensuality directly

left

quite at liberty

by their

satisfy their curiosity

and without

and

disguise.

There can be no doubt that the dominating interest of such

games

is

what Freud would

call

'genital',


'

SEX AND REPRESSION

56

by the

that they are largely determined

imitate the acts elders,

and that

and

among

one which

this period is

completely absent from the in Europe,

and which

life

amusements

is

and

almost

of better-class children

exists only to a small degree

When

peasants and proletarians.

of these

desire to

interests of elder children

speaking

of the children, the natives will

frequently allude to

them

{mwaygini kwayta).

Or

as

'

copulation

else

that

said

is

it

amusement they

are playing at marriage. It

must not be imagined that

Many do

not lend themselves at

some particular pastimes

are

and

girl

'

playing

build a

little

all

to

it.

sexual.

But there

of small children in

sex plays the predominant part. are fond of

games are

all

husband and shelter

which

Melanesian children

and

A boy

wife.'

call it their

home

;

there they pretend to assume the functions of husband

and

wife,

and amongst those

of

course the

important one of sexual intercourse.

most

At other times,

a group of children will go for a picnic where the entertainment consists of eating, fighting, and making love.

Or they

trade

exchange,

will

carry out a mimic ceremonial

ending up with sexual

activities.

Crude sensual pleasure alone does not seem to

them

;

in

such more elaborate games

it

satisfy

must be

blended with some imaginative and romantic interest.

A very important is

point about this infantile sexuality

the attitude of the elder generation towards

it.


THE FORMATION OF A COMPLEX As

have

I

the

least

said, the parents

Generally

reprehensible.

speak jestingly about

it

Never would they dream

as in

take

do

is

it

to

of the child world.

of interfering or frowning

disapproval, provided the children is,

will

it

to one another, discussing

and comedies

of discretion, that

they

The most they

entirely for granted.

the love tragedies

do not look upon

57

show a due amount

do not perform their amorous

games in the house, but go

away somewhere apart

in the bush.

But above

all

the children are

left entirely

Not only

selves in their love affairs.

parental interference, but rarely,

about that a

man

or a

interest in children,

woman

if

is

to them-

there no

ever, does

it

come

take a perverse sexual

and certainly they would never

be seen to mix themselves up in the games in this Violation

role.

person

of

who played

children

is

imknown, and a

sexually with a child would be

thought ridiculous and disgusting.

An

extremely important feature in

relations of children is the brother

already mentioned. first

From an

and

early age,

the

sexual

sister taboo,

when the

girl

puts on her grass petticoat, brothers and sisters

of the

same mother must be separated from each

other, in obedience to the strict taboo

which enjoins

that there shall be no intimate relations between them.

Even

earlier,

when they

first

can move about and walk,

they play in different groups.

Later on they never


SEX AND REPRESSION

58

consort together socially on a free footing, and above there

all

must never be the sUghtest suspicion

interest of one of

Although there

them

in the love affairs of the other.

children, not even quite a small

associate sex with his sisters,

any sexual

it is

This

the highest degree

bad form to speak to a brother about

love affairs, or vice versa.

make

still less

allusion or joke in their presence.

continues right through Hfe, and of

an

comparative freedom in pla5dng

is

and language between boy would

of

his sister's

The imposition

of this

taboo leads to an early breaking up of family hfe, since the boys

and

girls, in

order to avoid each other,

must leave the parental home and go elsewhere.

With

all this,

we can

which obtains in

perceive the enormous difference

the

juvenile

sexuality

stage of later childhood between ourselves

Melanesians. classes,

there

and a period the

at

this

and the

While amongst ourselves, in the educated is

at

this

time a break of sexuality

of latency with amnesia, in Melanesia

extremely early beginning of genital interest

leads to a type of sexuaUty entirely

unknown among

us.

From

will

continuously though gradually develop,

this time, the sexuality of the Melanesians

reaches puberty.

On

till

the condition that one taboo

it

is

respected in the strictest and most complete manner, society gives complete free play to juvenile sexuahty.


VIII

PUBERTY A T an

age varjdng with climate and race and

stretching from about the ninth to the fifteenth year, the child enters

puberty

is

not a

upon the age

moment

of puberty.

For

or a turning point but a more

or less prolonged period of development during which

the sexual apparatus, the whole system of internal secretions

and the organism

We

recast.

in general are entirely

cannot consider puberty as a conditio sine

qua non of sexual interest or even of sexual since non-nubile girls can copulate

are

known

penis.

to have erections

activities,

and immature boys

and to practise immissio

But undoubtedly the age

of puberty

must be

regarded as the most important landmark in the sexual history of the individual.

Sex is, moreover, so intimately bound up at this stage with the other aspects of shall treat sexual

divide

them

stages.

In

as

and

we

life

that in this chapter

social matters together

we

and not

did in the case of the two previous

comparing

Melanesia with our

own

here

the

society,

Trobrianders it

is

of

important to

note that these savages have no initiation rites at puberty.

While

this will

remove one item 59

of

extreme


SEX AND REPRESSION

6o

importance from our discussion,

on

will allow us

it

the other hand to draw the comparison between

and matriliny more

patriliny

most

in

since

and

clearly

savage

other

societies

closely,

initiation

ceremonies completely mask or modify this period.

own

In our of the

part

society,

boy and

we have

of the girl, for at this point the

company completely

a man's

life,

to speak separately

two

matters.

In

puberty means the acquisition of

full

sexual

in

mental powers as well as bodily maturity and the final

formation of the sexual characters.

new manliness

his

whole relation to

life

With

his

in general

changes as deeply as his relation to sexual matters

and to last,

we

can

observe

phenomenon which mother,

sister,

adolescent to

show

an

extremely

of our civiHzed

at the time of puberty

The

brutality towards his sisters all his

typical

communities begins

an extreme embarrass-

his mother, affects scorn

comrades of

interesting

greatly affects his attitude to his

or other female relatives.

bo}''

ment towards

his

Beginning with this

his position in the family.

and

and a

certain

ashamed before

is

female relatives.

Who

of us

does not remember the pangs of ineffable shame

when, jauntily going along with our school fellows,

we met suddenly our mother, our

aunt, our sister,

or even our girl cousin and were obliged to greet her.

There was a feeling of intense

caught in flagrante

delicto.

Some boys

guilt, of

being

tried to ignore


THE FORMATION OF A COMPLEX

6i

the embarrassing encounter, others more brave blushed

crimson and saluted, but everyone

shadow on

his

position,

social

felt

manliness and independence.

an outrage on his

as that associated with

here

felt

was a

it

Without entering into

we can

the psychology of this phenomenon, the shame and confusion

that

of the

is

any breach

of

see that

same type

good manners.

This newly acquired manliness affects deeply the boy's attitude towards the world, his whole Weltan-

He begins to have his independent opinions, personality and his own honour, to maintain his

schauung. his

position towards authority

This

is

and

and

son, another reckoning

At

of the father ideal.

father

is

up and a new

this point it

found out to be a fool or a

a hypocrite or an of for

intellectual leadership.

a new stage in the relation between father

life,

and

in

influencing the

come together

'

old fogey

any case

boy even again.

If

'.

He

loses the if

'

is

testing

succumbs bounder

',

if

the

to be

usually disposed

chance of effectively

in later

life

the two should

on the other hand the father

can stand the extremely severe scrutiny of this epoch there for

is

life.

a great chance of his surviving as an ideal

The

reverse

is

also true, of course, for the

father as well keenly examines his son at this epoch,

and

is

equally critical as to whether the boy comes

up

own ideal of what his future successor should be. The new attitude towards sex, the recrystallization at

to his

puberty, exerts a great influence on the boy's attitude


SEX AND REPRESSION

62

not only to his father, but to his mother as well.

The educated boy only now

fully realizes the biological

nature of the bond between his parents and himself. If

he deeply loves and worships his mother, as

usually the case, and his father,

if

then the idea of his bodily origin from his

parent's sexual intercourse, though at

a

rift

is

he can continue to ideaUze

making

first

in his mental world, can be dealt with.

on

If

the other hand he scorns and hates his father, be

it

unavowedly as so often happens, the idea brings about a permanent defilement of the mother and a besmirching of things most dear to him.

The new manhood

influences above all the boy's

Mentally he

sexual outlook.

is

ready for knowledge,

physiologically ready for applying

he receives his

it

lessons in sex at this time,

first

some form or other

and

starts sexual activities, not

often, probably, in the normal, regular

frequently

through

pollutions.

This

dividing

the roads

of

Usually

in Hfe.

masturbation

epoch

is

for

in

in

so

manner, but nocturnal

or

many

respects

the

boy.

Either

the

the

newly

awakened

strong

temperament and to easy morals, absorbs

him completely, ever in a

wave

sex

carries

it

off

him

off

his

of over-mastering

else other interests

to stave

appeaUng

impulse,

feet

to

a

once for

sensuality

;

or

and moraUty are strong enough

partially or

even

completely.

long as he preserves an ideal of chastity and

is

As able


THE FORMATION OF A COMPLEX to fight for

the leverage,

it,

is

there for the lifting

In this,

of the sexual impulses to a higher level.

the temptations are largely determined

course,

of

by the

The

and the mode

social setting

racial

morals and

of life of the boy.

characteristics of a commimity, its

its

code of

cultural values establish great differences

within European civilization.

some

63

countries,

is

it

In certain classes of

usual for the boy to succumb

to the disintegrating forces of easy sexuahty. others, he can take his chance.

society relieves

him

by la5dng down

In

In others, again,

of a great deal of responsibility

rules of

stem morality.

In his relations to persons of the other sex, there

appears at

something parallel to his attitude

first

towards mother and

and polarity

sister

a certain embarrassment,

;

and

of attraction

The woman

repulsion.

who, he feels, can exercise a deep influence on him alarms

him and

fills

him with

suspicion.

He

senses in her a

danger to his awakening independence and manliness.

At

new

this stage also the

fusion of tenderness with

sexuaUty which comes about towards the end of puberty mixes up tenderness

Imagination

with

the

and

about horrible

infantile

memories

new elements

especially

confusion

dream

maternal

of

of

sexuaUty.

fantasies

and play strange

bring tricks

on the boy's mind.^ ^

This conception

Chapter IX.

is

more

fully

elaborated below.

Part IV,


;

SEX AND REPRESSION

64

All this refers

more

especially to the

to the higher, well-to-do classes.

boy belonging

we compare

If

the

peasant or proletarian youth with him, we see that the essential elements are the same, though there

perhaps picture

less

individual

more

is

Thus there

is

also a period of affective crudeness

now

up

is

especially notice-

The quarrels with the

as a rule with an increased violence

that the boy realizes his

now

position as a successor,

own

forces

and

that he feels a

and a new ambition

possession

for

which

sister

young peasant.

father crop

and the general

variation

sober.

towards mother and able in a

is

own

his

new greed

for

influence.

Often a regular fight for supremacy begins at this time. In sexual matters there this

reacts

less

is

directly

not as violent a

on the parental

and

crisis

relation.

But the main outlines are the same.

The crisis

girl

at

of the educated classes goes through a

her

menstruation

first

which,

while

it

encroaches on liberty and compUcates hfe, adds to its

mysterious attraction and is usually eagerly awaited.

But puberty

is

less of a

turning point socially to a

she continues to live at

home

or to carry on her

education at a boarding school, but

and her training are life

窶馬ot

account.

in

all

her occupations

harmony with ordinary family

taking the modern,

Her aim

girl

professional

girl

One

in life is to await marriage.

important element in her relation to the family

into

is

the


THE FORMATION OF A COMPLEX rivalry between

65

mother and daughter which often

How

in at this time.

often

in a decided, undisguised

it

form

there can be no doubt that

makes ^

is

its

sets

appearance

hard to say, but

introduces a distorted

it

element into the typical relations of the ordinary

At

family.

this

time,

also,

and not

there

earlier,

enters a special tenderness into the relations between

father

and daughter, which not infrequently becomes

correlated with the

configuration of the Electra complex; of

an entirely

This

maternal rivalry.

different

nature

it is

is

the

therefore

from the Oedipus

Putting on one side the greater hysterical

complex.

tendency of women, for here we are concerned with the ground work of normality, the Electra complex is less

frequent and has less social importance as well

as a smaller influence on Western culture.

other hand, felt

its

influence

makes

and the father-daughter

itself

the

more frequently

incest

incomparably more frequent in real

On

seems

to

be

occurrence than

that between mother and son, for various reasons of a biological

and sociological nature.

our interest in this discussion

is

Since, however,

mainly in the cultural

the complexes,

we cannot

follow the parallel between the Oedipus

and Electra

and

social

influence

complexes in parison

detail.

between

of

Nor can we enter into a com-

the

higher

classes,

where

the

^ Such as we find it so powerfully described for instance in the very instructive novel of Maupassant, Fort comme la Mort.

r


SEX AND REPRESSION

66

repressions are stronger, where there

is

more hysteria

but fewer cases of actual incest occur, and the lower classes, where, since the girl's sex interest is frequently

engaged

earlier

and more normally, she

to hysterical distortions, but suffers

from persecution by the Let us

now

is less liable

more frequently

father.^

Puberty

turn to the Trobriand Islands.

begins there earlier than with us, but at the same time,

when

begun

their sexual activities.

individual^

it

boys and

sets in

puberty

have already

In the social

not

does

girls

constitute

life

of the

a

sharp

turning point as in those savage communities where Gradually, as he passes

initiation ceremonies exist.

to manhood, the

economic pursuits and tribal occupations,

part in

he

is

boy begins to take a more active

considered a young

of puberty he is a full

marry and carry on his

privileges.

The

man

(ulatile)

member

all his girl,

,

and by the end

of the tribe, ready to

duties as well as to enjoy

who

at

the beginning of

puberty acquires more freedom and independence

from her family, has also to do more work, amuse herself

^

more

Among

intensely,

and carry on such

duties.

peasants, the attempts of father on daughter are very

among the Latin Rumania the occurrence of this type of incest is very common among peasants, and so it seems to be in Italy. In the Canary Islands, I know myself of a few cases of frequent.

races.

I

This seems especially to be the case

have been told that

in

father and daughter committing incest, not in a clandestine manner,

but living openly

in a

shameless menage and rearing their children.


THE FORMATION OF A COMPLEX

67

ceremonial, economic, and legal, as are entailed by full

womanhood.

But the most important change, and the one which interests us most, is the partial break-up of the family

at the time

adolescent boys and girls cease

when the

to be permanent inmates of the parental home.

and

brothers

sisters,

whose avoidance has begun

long before in childhood, must strict taboo, so that

For

any

now keep an extremely

possibility of contact while

engaged in sexual pursuits must be eliminated. danger

obviated

is

bukumatula.

inhabited

A

This

by a

name

by groups

of

is

special

given to special houses

will join

girls.

such a house,

owned by some mature youth

is

the

institution,

adolescent boys and

boy as he reaches puberty

which

This

or

young

widower and tenanted by a number of youths, from

who are there joined by their sweethearts.^ parental home is drained completely of its

three to six,

Thus the

adolescent males, though until the boy's marriage

he

always come back for food, and will also

will

continue to work for his household to some extent.

A

girl,

on the rare nights

of chastity

when she

engaged in one bukumatula or another,

may

is

not

return

to sleep at home.

What

is

the

attitude

towards

mother,

father,

For a detailed description and analysis of this remarkable a mimicry of group -marriage as we have on record, compare the author's forthcoming Sexual Life of Savages. ^

institution, as close


SEX AND REPRESSION

68 sister or

brother into which the sentiments of the

Melanesian boy and

epoch

we

girl

crystalUze at this important

As with a modern European boy and

?

see that at this period there

is

only a

girl,

final cast,

a consolidation of what has been in gradual formation

during

whom

from

life.

The mother,

the child has been weaned

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;in the widest

previous

the

word

sense of the

of

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;remains

and

of all kinship

stages

still

relationship for the rest of

are determined with regard to her

no one

do

it,

home.

else is there to

while

and attachment, prescribed by

social

remain also deeply founded in real

senti-

man

dies or suffers mishap,

be the one to sorrow and her waihng

will

will last longest little of

relatives.

provide for her, he will have to

ment, and when an adult

mother

and her

her house will always be his second

Affection

obligations,

his

life.

boy's status in society, his duties and privileges,

The

If

the pivotal point

and be most

sincere.

Yet there

is

the personal friendship, the mutual confidences

and intimacy which

is

so characteristic of the mother-

to-son relationship in our society.

The detachment

from the mother, carried out as we have seen at every stage

with

more

easily

fewer

suppressions,

and more thoroughly than with

premature is

wrenches

and

us,

violent

achieved in a more complete and

harmonious manner.

The father The boy, who

at this time suffers a temporary eclipse. as a child

was

fairly

independent and


THE FORMATION OF A COMPLEX became the member gains

now on

of the small, juvenile republic,

the one

hand the

additional freedom of

the hukumatula, while on the other he becomes

more

restricted

by

his

kada (maternal uncle).

He

has

less

time and

less

Later on, when friction

with the maternal uncle makes

its

appearance, he

to his father once more, and their

friendship then becomes settled.

life

much

various duties towards his

interest left for the father.

turns, as a rule,

69

At

this stage,

however, when the adolescent has to learn his duties, to be instructed in traditions his arts

and

who

his teacher

is

and to study

crafts, his interest in his

and

his magic,

mother's brother,

tutor, is greatest

and

their

relations are at their best.^

There

is

one more important difference between

the Melanesian boy's feeling for his parents and that

when

own

educated boy in our

of the

at puberty

fiery vision

and with

society.

With

social initiation the

opens before the youth,

a strange shadow on his previous

its

us,

new

glare throws

warm

feelings for

mother and father. His own sexuality estranges him from his progenitors, embarrasses their relations and creates deep complications. Not so in the ^

The

relation

between these three, the young man, his father and

his mother's brother, are in reality

somewhat more complicated

have been able to show here, and present an interesting picture of the play and clash of the incompatible principles of kinship and authority. This subject will be discussed in a forthcoming book on kinship. Compare also Crime and Custom, 1926.

than

I


70

SEX AND REPRESSION

matrilineal

society.

The

absence

indecency period and of the parental authority

;

above

;

all

the

early

struggles against

first

the gradual and open taking-up

of sex ever since it first

blood

of

began to

stir in

the young

the attitude of benevolent onlookers

which the parents take towards the sexuality of their

young

the fact of the mother's withdrawing

;

completely but gradually from the boy's passionate feeUngs brings

;

the father smiling his approval

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

this

all

about the fact that the intensification of

sexuality at puberty exercises no direct influence

upon the relation to the parents.

One is,

relation,

that

brother and

between

sexuahty

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;especially

extends to

all free

of sex completely

This taboo, which

at puberty.

association

and excludes the motive

from the relations of the two,

place

it

must be kept

in

mind that

great sexual barrier in a man's illicit

to trespass,

this

life,

and that

it

taboo

is

first

the

beyond which

it

constitutes

also

The

pro-

the most important general moral rule. hibition,

affects

For in the

the sexual outlook of both in general.

is

sister,

however, deeply affected by every increase of

moreover, which starts in childhood with

the separation of brothers and sisters and of which this separation

always remains the main point, extends

also to all other females of the

sexual world

is

for the

same

boy divided

one of these, embracing the

clan.

into

women

Thus the

two moieties

of his

own

:

clan,


THE FORMATION OF A COMPLEX is

him

prohibited to

the other, to which

;

of the remaining three clans belong,

is

71

women

lawful.

Let us compare now the brother-sister relation

With

Melanesia and Europe.

childhood gradually cools

somewhat constrained is

off

in

the intimacy of

us,

and changes into a which the

relation, in

sister

naturally but not completely divided from her

brother

by

social, psychological

and

biological factors.

In Melanesia, as soon as any intimacy in play or in childish confidences sets

The

in.

always

near

might spring up, the

sister

yet

remains

never

a

strict

mysterious

taboo being,

divided by the

intimate,

invisible yet all powerful wall of traditional

command

which gradually changes into a moral and personal imperative.

sexual

The

horizon

sister

remains the only spot on the

permanently hidden.

Any

natural

impulses of infantile tenderness are as systematically repressed from the outset as other natural impulses are in our children, '

indecent

'

as

and the

sister

becomes thus

an object of thought, interest and

feeling, just as the

forbidden things do for our children.

Later on, as the personal experiences in sexuaHty develop, the veil of reserve separating the two thickens.

Though they have constantly to avoid each yet,

owing to the fact that he

is

other,

the provider of her

household, they must constantly keep one another in

thought

and

attention.

Such

premature repression must have

its

artificial

and

results.

The


SEX AND REPRESSION

72

psychologists foretell

In

the

of

Freudian school could

easily

them.-

have spoken almost exclusively from

all this I

the point of view of the boy.

What

is

the configura-

tion of the Melanesian girl's attitude to her family

as

it

crystallizes

at

puberty

her attitude does not differ so her European counterpart as boy.

Roughly speaking,

?

much from

that of

the case with the

is

Just because of the brother and sister taboo,

the Trobriand matriarchy touches the the boy. to take

For, since her brother

any

girl less

is strictly

than

forbidden

interest in her sexual affairs, including

her marriage, and her mother's brother has also to

keep aloof from these matters, her father

who

is

it is,

strangely enough,

her guardian as regards matrimonial

So that between father and daughter

arrangements.

not quite an identical, but a very similar relation exists as with us.

For among ourselves the

the female child and her father

and thus the found

relation

in the Trobriands

friction

between

normally small,

is

approaches nearer to that

between father and

child.

There, on the other hand, the intimacy between a

grown-up man and an adolescent remembered,

is

not considered

fraught with some temptation.

who, be

girl,

his

This

kinswoman, is

it

is

not lessened

but increased by the fact that though the daughter is

not actually tabooed by the laws of exogamy,

yet sexual intercourse between the two

is

considered


THE FORMATION OF A COMPLEX in the highest degree reprehensible,

though

73 never

it is

name of suvasova, which means breach exogamy. The reason for this prohibition between

given the of

father and daughter

of course, simply that

is,

it

is

wrong to have sexual intercourse with the daughter of the

woman

whom you

with

not be astonished when later, as

We

co-habit.

we

shall

trace the influence

of the typical attitudes between members of the

family,

we

happens

in reahty,

though

an obsession, nor has

With

not

is

incest

hardly could be called

any echo

in folk-lore.

more natural than that

essentially

difference there girl

it

it

father-daughter

regard to her mother, the general course of

the relation

though

that

find

shall

is

at puberty

:

jealousies,

point

of

from the parental home and her

of

interests

normally

mother-daughter

prevent

rivalries

and

though they do not always preclude the

occurrence of father-daughter incest.

exception

One

namely, that the exodus of the

numerous outside sex the development

different.

Europe,

in

of

Thus, with the

her attitude to the brother, broadly

speaking, sentiments similar to those in Europe are to be found in a Melanesian

girl.


IX

THE COMPLEX OF MOTHER-RIGHT T T 7E

have been comparing the two

civilizations, the

European and the Melanesian, and we have seen that there exist deep differences, some of the forces

by which

society moulds man's biological nature

Though

being essentially dissimilar. is

in each there

a certain latitude given to sexual freedom, and a

certain

amount

of interference with

and regulation

of

the sex instinct, yet in each the incidence of the

taboo and the play of sexual liberty within prescribed bounds

are

entirely

different.

its

There

is

also a quite dissimilar distribution of authority within

the family, and correlated with of

counting

societies

the

kinship.

growth

We

a different

mode

have followed in both the

of

it

average boy or

under these divergent tribal laws and customs.

girl

We

have found that at almost every step there are great differences

due to the interplay between biological

impulse and social rule which sometimes harmonize,

sometimes

sometimes

conflict,

to

an

sometimes lead to a short inequilibrium

fraught,

with possibilities for a future development. final

stage of the

reached maturity,

child's

we have

life-history,

seen

74

bliss,

however,

after

At the it

has

its feelings crystallize


THE FORMATION OF A COMPLEX into a system

of

sentiments towards the mother,

and

father, brother, sister,

the Trobriands, the

in

maternal uncle, a system which

and which,

society,

75

adapt ourselves to

in order to

psycho-analytic terminology,

typical of each

is

we

called the

'Family

Complex' or the 'nuclear complex'.

Now

me

allow

of these

to restate briefly the

two complexes '

main features

The Oedipus complex, the

'.

system of attitudes typical of our patriarchal society, is

formed in early infancy, partly during the transition

between the

first

and second stages

So that, towards

partly in the course of the latter.

when the boy

end,

its

is

about

of childhood,

five or six

years old,

his attitudes are well formed, though perhaps not finally settled.

And

these attitudes comprise already

a number of elements of hate and suppressed In

this, I think,

our results do not

differ to

desire.

any extent

from those of psycho-analysis.^ In the matrilineal society at that stage, though the

has

child

towards

its

developed

father

very definite sentiments

and mother, nothing suppressed,

nothing negative, no frustrated desire forms a part of

them. social

Whence

arises this difference

?

As we saw, the

arrangements of the Trobriand matriliny are

in

almost complete harmony with the biological course of ^ I have come to realize since the above was written that no orthodox or semi-orthodox psycho-analyst would accept my statement of the complex ', or of any aspect of the doctrine. '


SEX AND REPRESSION

76

development, while the institution of father -right found in

our society crosses and represses a number of natural

To

impulses and inclinations. there

trace

more

it

in detail,

the passionate attachment to the mother,

is

the bodily desire to cling close to her, which in patriarchal institutions

is

broken or interfered with

which

morality,

way

one

in

or another

the influence of our

;

condemns sexuality

children;

in

the brutality of the father, especially in the lower strata, the

and

atmosphere of his exclusive right to mother

child acting subtly but strongly in the higher

by the wife

strata, the fear felt

husband

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

children.

all

of displeasing her

these influences force apart parents

Even where the

and

between father

rivalry

and

child for the mother's personal attention is reduced

to a

minimum,

or to naught, there comes, in the second

between

period, a distinct clash of social interests

father

and

child.

The

child

is

an

encumbrance

and an obstacle to the parental freedom, a reminder of age of

and decUne and,

if it is

a future social rivalry.

a son, often the menace Thus, over and above

the clash of sensuality, there social

friction

advisedly

between

'child'

and

father

not

is

ample

and

'boy',

room

child. for,

I

for

say

according

to our results, the sex difference between the children

does not play any great part at this stage, nor has a closer relation

made

its

between father and daughter as yet

appearance.


THE FORMATION OF A COMPLEX All

and

these forces

are absent

influences

the matrilineal society of the Trobriands. all

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;and

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;there

no condemnation

is

sensuality as such, above

all,

First of

mother

of the child to his till it

plays

is

allowed to take

The

child during these

two early periods

helper.

clinging

its

diverted

is

bodily interests.

and

sex or of

The sensuous

out and

itself

of

no moral horror at the

idea of infantile sexuality.

friend

from

that has, hien entendu, nothing to do with

matriliny

course

^^

natural

by other

attitude of the father to the

that of a near

is

At the time when our father makes

himself pleasant at best

by

his entire absence

the nursery, the Trobriand father

is

first

from

a nurse

and then a companion.

The development also differs in

Europe and Melanesia

of the nursery classes,

of pre-sexual life at this stage

among

develop

a

;

the repressions

us, especially in

tendency

towards

the higher clandestine

inquisitions into indecent things, especially excretory

functions and organs.

no

such

period.

Among

Now

this

the savages infantile

we

find

pre-genital

indecency establishes distinctions between the decentindecent, the pure-impure,

and the indecent, parent-

proof compartment reinforces

depth to the taboo which relations to the

is

and gives additional

suddenly cast over certain

mother, that

is

to the premature

banishment from her bed and bodily embraces.

So that here also the complications of our society


SEX AND REPRESSION

78

are not shared

by the

children in the Trobriands.

At the next stage of sexuality In

difference.

more or

less

we find a no less relevant

Europe there

a

is

latency

period

pronounced, which implies a breach of

continuity in the sexual development and, according to Freud, serves to reinforce

many

of our repressions

and the general amnesia, and to create many dangers

On the other hand,

in the normal development of sex. also represents the

it

triumph

of other cultural

social interests over sexuahty.

at this stage, sex in

almost

Among

the savages

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;a

form

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;establishes

itself

an early genital form

unknown among

ourselves

and

foremost among

the child's interests, never to be

dislodged again.

This, while in

destructive,

culturally

helps

many

respects

gradual

the

it

is

and

harmonious weaning of the child from the family influences.

With

this

we have

half of the child's

entered already into the second

development, for the period of

sexual latency in our society belongs to this part.

When we

consider these two later stages which form

we

the second half of the development,

profound difference.

With us during

find another

this early period

of puberty, the Oedipus complex, the attitudes of the

boy towards In

his parents, only soUdify

Melanesia,

on

the

other

hand,

and it

crystallize. is

mainly

during this second epoch, in fact almost exclusively then, that

any complex

is

formed.

For only at this


THE FORMATION OF A COMPLEX

79

period is the child submitted to the system of repressions

and taboos which begin to mould these forces he responds, partly

by developing more or and

human

desires, for

but also

The

less

To

his nature.

by adaptation,

partly

repressed antagonisms

nature

not only malleable

is

elastic.

repressing and moulding forces in Melanesia

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;the

submission

are

twofold

law,

and the prohibitions

matriarchal tribal

to

The

exogamy.

of

first

is

brought about by the influence of the mother's brother,

who, in appeahng to the pride in

child's

sense of honour,

and ambition, comes to stand to him

in a relation

many respects analogous to that of the father among On the other hand, both the efforts which he

us.

demands and the

livalry

between

and

successor

succeeded introduce the negative elements of jealousy

and resentment. Thus an 'ambivalent' attitude

is

formed in which veneration assumes the acknowledged

dominant itself

place, while a repressed hatred manifests

only indirectly.

The second taboo, the prohibition of incest, surrounds the

sister,

and to a

on the maternal

lesser degree other

side, as well as

Of

of sexual mystery. is

We

whom

noted

entering the boy's

clanswomen, with a

all this class

the representative to

stringently.

life

that in

female relatives

of

women, the

veil

sister

the taboo applies most this

infancy,

severing

taboo,

cuts short the

incipient tenderness towards his sister

which

is

the


SEX AND REPRESSION

8o

This taboo also, since

natural impulse of a child.

makes

an

even

causes

crime,

a

matters

contact

accidental

sexual

in

thought

the

sister to be always present, as well as

it

the

of

consistently

repressed.

Comparing the two systems briefly,

we see

family attitudes

of

that in a patriarchal society, the infantile

rivalries and the later social functions introduce into

the attitude of father and son, besides mutual attach-

ment, also a certain amount of resentment and

Petween mother and premature unsatisfied

craving

interests

come

new bodily

infancy

in

which,

in

up

between father and son, and

itself

deep,

when sexual

and assumes often an

longings,

of the child for its

a

memory with

in

mother

all is

is

no

erotic

friction

the infantile craving

allowed gradually to

The

in a natural, spontaneous manner.

ambivalent attitude of veneration and dislike

between a

man and

the

dreams and other

In the Trobriands there

fantasies.

spend

leaves on,

later

mixed up

in, is

which comes

character

on the other hand, the

son,

separation

dislike.

is felt

his mother's brother, while the

repressed sexual attitude of incestuous

can be formed only towards his

sister.

temptation

Applying to

each society a terse, though somewhat crude formula,

we might say that

in the

the repressed desire to

mother,

while

in

the

kill

Oedipus complex there

is

the father and marry the

matrilineal

society

of

the


THE FORMATION OF A COMPLEX Trobriands the wish kill

is

marry the

to

8i

and to

sister

the maternal uncle.

With

this,

we have summarized the

detailed inquiry,

problem

results of our

and given an answer to the

set out at the beginning, that

is,

first

we have

studied the variation of the nuclear complex with

the constitution of the family, and

we have shown

what manner the complex depends upon some

in

the features of family

life

of

and sexual morals.

We are indebted to psycho-analysis for the discovery that there exists a typical configuration of sentiments in our society,

and

concerned with sex, as to

an

why

In the foregoing pages

exist.

outline of the nuclear

matriUneal one, where

it

such a complex must

we were

complex

differ

and what

able to give

of another society, a

has never been studied before.

We found that this complex differs patriarchal one,

mainly

for a partial explanation,

essentially

and we have shown why

social forces bring it about.

drawn our comparison on the broadest

from the it

must

We

have

basis,

and,

without neglecting sexual factors, we have also systematically is

drawn

important,

in

the other elements.

for, so far, it

The

result

has never been suspected

that another type of nuclear complex might be in existence.

By my

analysis,

I

have established that

Freud's theories not only roughly correspond to

human

psychology, but that they follow closely the modification

in

human

nature brought

about by various


82

SEX AND REPRESSION

constitutions

of

society.

In other words,

have

I

established a deep correlation between the type of society

and the nuclear complex found

this is in a sense a confirmation of the

Freudian psychology,

it

elastic.

main tenet

of

might compel us to modify

certain of its features, or rather to

formulae more

While

there.

To put

it

make some

concretely,

it

of its

appears

necessary to draw in more systematically the correlation between biological

and

social

to assume the universal existence

influences of

the

;

not

Oedipus

complex, but in studying every type of civilization, to establish the special complex which pertains to

it.


PART

II

THE MIRROR OF TRADITION I

COMPLEX AND MYTH TT now

rerpains to proceed to the study of the second

problem posed in the is

to

MOTHER-RIGHT

IN

first

part of this volume

investigate whether the

so entirely different in its genesis

and

show that

in the social

and

character

its

also a different

social organization

life,

that

matriHneal complex,

from the Oedipus complex, exercises influence on tradition

;

;

and to

as well as in the folk-lore, of

these natives their specific repressions manifest themselves unmistakably.

Whenever the

passions,

kept

normally within traditional bounds by rigid taboos,

customs and

legal penalties,

break through in crime,

perversion, aberration, or in one of those dramatic

hum-

occurrences which shake from time to time the

drum

life

of a savage

community

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;then these passions

reveal the matriarchal hatred of the maternal uncle

or the incestuous wishes towards the folk-lore

of

matrilineal fairy tales

these

complex.

Melanesians

The

mirrors

examination

and legend, as well as 83

also

The

sister.

of

of magic, will

the

myth,

show


SEX AND REPRESSION

84 that

the

repressed

hatred of the maternal uncle,

ordinarily

masked by conventional reverence and

solidarity,

breaks through in those narratives con-

structed on the model of the day -dream and dictated

by repressed

longings.

Especially interesting

is

the magic of love of these

natives and the mythology connected with

sexual attraction,

all

power

of seduction

to reside in the magic of love.

is

it.

All

believed

This magic again the

natives regard as founded in a dramatic occurrence of the past,

narrated in a strange tragic

brother and sister incest.

by the

myth

of

Thus the position established

description of social relations within the family,

and by an analysis of kinship, can also be independently demonstrated by the study of the culture of these Melanesian natives.


II

DISEASE AND PERVERSION

nnHE

evidence adduced in this part of the essay

While on some points

not quite homogeneous. I

have had

my

information,

full

have to confess

shall

I

ignorance or only incomplete knowledge in others,

and there solve

found

This

it.

it

shaU indicate the problem rather than

I

knowledge

of

due partly to

is

lack of expert

my

having

impossible to psycho-analyze the natives

unevenness in the

by

partly to an unavoidable

material,

that

especially

among

other tribes where

I

shorter time

and worked under

less

collected

much

my

mental disease, partly to

the orthodox technique;

I

is

which

resided for a

favourable

conditions than in the Trobriands, I shall start

Here comes disease.

We

with the weakest items in

first

my

the question of neurosis and mental

have seen in the comparative account of

the child's development

among

ourselves

Trobriands that the matrilineal complex later in the life of a child, that

the intimacy of the family shocks,

if

repertoire.

any, that

it

is

circle,

it

is

that

and is

in the

formed

formed outside it

entails fewer

due mainly to the play of

rivalry, while its erotic thwartings

85

do not go to the


SEX AND REPRESSION

86 roots

Since

of infantile sexuality.

Freudian

theory

much

expect a

It is

so,

is

us

lead

the to

smaller prevalence of those neuroses

(ilbertragungsneurosen) due to

hood.

would

neurosis

of

this

the traumas of child-

a great pity that a competent alienist

has not been able to examine the Trobrianders under the same conditions as myself, for

think he could

I

throw some interesting sidelights upon the assumptions of psycho-analysis.

When for

studying the Trobrianders,

it

would be

futile

an ethnographer to compare them with Europeans,

for with us there are

innumerable other factors which

complicate the picture and contribute to the formation

But some thirty miles south

mental disease.

of

of the

Trobriands there are the Amphlett Islands, inhabited

by people

essentially

language, but

who

similar

in

race,

however, very

differ,

custom, and

much

organization, have strict sexual morals, that

pre-nuptial

have

no

is,

regard

sexual intercourse with disapproval and institutions

while their family

Though

in social

matrilineal,

to

support

sexual

license,

much more closely knit. they have a much more developed life

patriarchal authority,

is

and

this,

combined with the

sexual repressiveness, establishes a picture of child-

hood more similar to our own.^ 1

For a description of some customs and features of the culture Amphlett Island, see the author's Argonauts

of the natives of the

of the Western Pacific, chap. xi.


â&#x20AC;&#x201D; THE MIRROR OF TRADITION Now

my own

even with

subject,

87

limited knowledge of the

received quite a different impression of the

I

neurotic

dispositions

Trobriands, though

knew

I

these

of

the

In

natives.

scores of natives intimately

and had a nodding acquaintance with many more,

name a

could not

single

man

or

Nervous

hysterical or even neurasthenic.

I

woman who was tics,

com-

pulsory actions or obsessive ideas were not to be In the system of native pathology, based, of

found. course,

on

belief in black

magic, but reasonably true to

the symptoms of disease, there are two categories of

mental

nagowa,

disorder

cretinism, idiocy,

and

a defect of speech

;

is

which

corresponds

who from time

to time break out into acts of violence

The natives

and recognize that

who have

also given to people

and gwayluwa, which corresponds

roughly to mania, and comprises those

behaviour.

to

and deranged

of the Trobriands

know

well

in the neighbouring islands of the

Amphletts and d'Entrecasteaux there are other types of black

magic which can produce

different

effects

on the mind

from those known to themselves, of which

the symptoms are according to their accounts compulsory actions, nervous tics and various forms of obsession.

Amphletts,

And

my

that this was a

during first

my

few months' stay in the

and strongest impression was

community

of neurasthenics.

Coming

from the open, gay, hearty and accessible Trobrianders, it

was astonishing to

find oneself

among a community


SEX AND REPRESSION

88

of people distrustful of the

newcomer, impatient

in

work, arrogant in their claims, though easily cowed

and extremely nervous when tackled more energetically.

The women ran away

and kept

in hiding the

as I landed in their villages

whole of

exception of a few old hags. picture,, I at

my

stay, with the

Apart from

this general

once found a number of people affected

with nervousness

whom

could not use as informants,

I

because they would either

lie

in

some

sort of fear,

or else become excited and offended over any

It is characteristic that in the

detailed questioning.

Trobriands even the rather than

spiritualistic

mediums

abnormal people.

Trobriands black magic

manner by men, that

more

is

And

while in

practised in a

is

are poseurs

the '

'

scientific

by methods which present small

claim to the supernatural, in the islands of the south there are

which

'

flying

in other

witches, and

wizards

'

who

practise the

parts belongs only to

who make

magic

semi-fabulous

at first sight a quite

abnormal

mpression.

In another community

among whom

ethnographic apprenticeship, and did not study with the same as intimately as

I

I

whom

methods or

served I

my

therefore

come

to

know

did the Trobrianders, the conditions

are even more repressive than in the Amphlett Islands.

The

Mailu, inhabiting a portion of the south coast of

New Guinea, are patriUneal, have a pronounced paternal authority in the family, and a fairly strict code of


THE MIRROR OF TRADITION repressive sexual morals. ^

Among

these natives,

whom

noted a number of people

and therefore

neurasthenics,

89

I

had

I

had

classed as

useless as ethnographic

informants.

But aU these tentative remarks, though they

are not

sheer guesses, are intended only to raise the problem,

and

to indicate

what the solution would most probably

The problem would

be.

number of the

of matrilineal

same

:

to study a

and patriarchal communities

level of culture, to register the variation

of sexual repression

and

therefore be

and

of the family constitution,

to note the correlation

between the amount of

sexual and family repression and the prevalence of hysteria and compulsion neurosis.

Melanesia, where side living

by

side

we

The conditions find

in

communities

under entirely different conditions, are

like a

naturally arranged experiment for this purpose.

Another point which might be interpreted in favour of the Freudian solution of this problem

is

the correlation

of sexual perversions with sexual repression.

Freud has

shown that there is a deep connection between the course of infantile sexuality in later

^

life.

Compare the

On

writer's

monograph on " The Natives

information on mental disease I

did not include

of republishing it in

a

of

Mailu "

Royal Society of Australia, vol. 39, 1915, is

contained there.

to return to the district and the essay was published

account in which

of perversion

the basis of his theory, an entirely

in the Proceedings of the

No

and the occurrence

all I

fuller form.

knew

'I

had hoped

a preliminary and had noted, thinking cis


SEX AND REPRESSION

90

community

lax

like that of the Trobrianders,

who do

not interfere with the free development of infantile

This

show a minimum

should

sexuality,

fully confirmed

is

known

sexuality was

to

perversions.

of

Homo-

the Trobriands.

in

and

other tribes

in

exist

regarded as a filthy and ridiculous practice. It cropped

up

in the

Trobriands only with the influence of white

man, more boys and

and

especially of white

on a Mission Station, penned

girls

strictly isolated houses,

The

man's morality.

cooped up

in separate

together,

had

to help themselves out as best they could, since that

which every Trobriander looks upon as

was denied

right

made

natives,

homosexuality

whom

upon

of non-missionary as well as missionary

the

is

rule

among

were a few cases

caught in flagrante

from the face of

them

those

white man's morality has been forced in

such an irrational and unscientific manner. rate, there

due and

According to very careful

to them.

inquiries

his

of

delicto,

which

'

At any

evil doers

'

were ignominiously banished

God back

tried to continue

in

into the villages,

it,

where one

but had to give up under

the pressure of the native morals, expressed in scorn

and

derision.

perversions are

I

have

also reason

much more

prevalent in the Amphlett

and d'Entrecasteaux archipelago again

I

have

to regret that

to suppose that

I

important subject in detail.

in

the south,

was not able to study

but this


Ill

DREAMS AND DEEDS

XTOW

we have

of

expresses

how

to study

family in the Trobriands

matrihneal

the

itself in

of the natives.

If

the integral sentiment

the culture and social organization

we pushed

problem too deep

this

would indeed lead us to a minute examination from

it

this

point of view of practically every manifestation of their tribal

life.

We

shall

have to make a selection and pick

out the most relevant domains of divided into two categories (2)

the data of folk-lore.

:

To

These can be

the free fantasies, and

(i)

the

fact.

first class

belong those

products of individual imagination such as dreams,

day-dreams, personal desires and ideals which, coming

from the individual's own

life,

are shaped

endo-psychic forces of his personality.

by the

In this class

can be reckoned not only the manifestations of fantasies in

thought and dream, but also in deed.

Or a sin

or

and decency of

For a crime

an act which outrages pubhc opinion is

committed when the repressive

forces

law and moraUty are broken by the repressed

passions.

In such deeds

we can measure both

the

strength of the ideal and the depth of the passion.

We

shall turn

now

to this 91

first

class of

dreams and


SEX AND REPRESSION

92

deeds in which the individual shakes the shackles

of

off

temporarily

custom and reveals the repressed

elements and the conflict with the repressing forces.

Dreams and day-dreams study among It is a

are not an easy subject for,

the Melanesians of the Trobriand Islands.

remarkable and characteristic feature of these

natives,

in

which they seem to

savages, that they apparently

differ

dream

from other

have

little,

little

interest in their dreams, seldom relate them spon-

dream

taneously, do not regard the ordinary

as having

any prophetic or other importance, and have no code

When

of symbolic explanation whatever.

the subject directly, as

I

often did,

informants whether they had dreamt, and, their

tackled

I

and asked so,

if

my

what

dreams had been, the answer was usually negative,

with rare exceptions, to which we

will return.

Is this

absence of dreams, or rather of interest in dreams, to the fact that society, a society

restricted?

appears

we are dealing with a non-repressed among whom sex as such is in no way

Is it so because their

late,

rarity of free

due

and has few

'

complex

'

dreams and the absence

weak,

is

infantile elements

This

?

of strong effect,

hence absence of remembrance, point to

the same

conclusion as the absence of neurosis, that

is,

to the

correctness in broad outline of the Freudian theory.

For is

this theory affirms that the

unsatisfied

sexual

or

sexual

appetite,

quasi-sexual

main cause and

impulses

as

of

dreams

especially

are

such

repressed


THE MIRROR OF TRADITION To

violently in infancy.

93

one could only

this question

obtain a satisfactory answer by collecting rich comparative material

and mode of living but with different

culture I

have used so

there

among two communities far the expression

a class of dreams which

is

whether with the

free or

'

free

of similar

repressions.

dreams

it is difficult

',

for

to range,

with the fixed fantasies, since

they run on lines prescribed by tradition and could be called in

'

official

which a

some task

dreams

man is

Such, for instance, are dreams

'.

leading an enterprise or carrying out

supposed to dream under certain circum-

The

stances about the object of his enterprise.

leaders

dream about the weather, about

of fishing excursions

may

the place where the shoals

appear, about the

and they give

best date for the expedition,

and instructions accordingly.

Those

their orders

in charge of the

overseas expeditions called Kula are often supposed to have dreams about the success of their ceremonial trading.

Above

all

the magicians have dreams associ-

ated with the performance of their magic. also

another form

associated with

typical

of

magic,

that,

about as the direct result of a

There

or traditional

is

dream

namely, which comes

spell or of

the ceremonial overseas trading there

a

is

rite.

Thus, in

a certain spell

which acts directly on the mind of the partner, induces in

him a dream, and

desire

the exchange.

to produce a

this

dream makes the partner

Most love magic

is

supposed

dream which awakens the amorous

wish.


94

SEX AND REPRESSION

Thus these

natives, remarkably enough, reverse the

Freudian theory

of,

dreams, for to them the dream

is

the cause of the wish,^ In reahty, this class of traditional

dreams

is

very

much

within the lines of the Freudian

For they are constructed as a projection on

theory.

own desire. The victim of love magic feels in her dream an itching, a craving which is the same as the state of mind of the performer to the victim of the magician's

The Kula partner under the

of the magic.

magic

influence of

supposed to dream of glorious scenes of

is

exchange which form the very vision dominating the wishes of the performer.

Nor

are such dreams merely spoken of

supposed to

exist.

Very frequently the magician him-

would come and

self

a good

of a

tell

yield in fishing,

on the strength of

and only

it.

me

that he

had dreamt about

and would organize an expedition

Or a garden wizard would speak

dream he had had about a long drought, and

fore order certain

things to be done.

there-

During the

annual ceremonial feast in honour of dead ancestors

had on two occasions opportunities of natives.

I

dreams

of noting

In both cases the dream referred to the

proceedings, and in one the dreamer claimed to have

dreamt that he had had a conversation with the

who were not ^

Cf. also

my

satisfied

Argonauts of

and detailed descriptions the narrative.

with things.

the

Another

Western Pacific,

of the rites

and

spirits,

class of

chapter on magic

spells in the course of


THE MIRROR OF TRADITION dream

typical

is

95

concerned with the birth of babies.

In these the future mother has a sort of

dream annuncia-

tion from one of her dead relatives.^

Now one of the typical or official dreams is the sexual dream, which interests us here more especially. A man will

dream that a woman

dream he awake This

will

have congress with

conceal

will

up the dream

try to follow initiate

from

her,

and he

will

actively in real

For

will

and

life

dream

this

him had performed

visited

in

;

but he

his wife,

an intrigue with the woman.

means that she who

at night

semen on the mat.

finding the discharge of

he

him

visits

love

magic and that she desires him.

About such dreams confidences, followed efforts of the

dream

man

had a number

I

by

of personal

the story of the subsequent

at establishing

an intrigue with his

visitor.

Now,

naturally, as soon as

about their erotic dreams,

scent of incestuous dreams.

you ever dream

I

was

was

I

To

your mother

of

told

by the natives

the question in this

way

answer would be a calm, unshocked negation.

mother

is

forbidden

dream such a

thing.

would be put about the ^

Cf,

'

Baloma

'

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

"

:

?

Do

" the "

The

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;only a tonagowa (imbecile) would She

thing would happen."

1916.

on the

at once keenly

is

an old woman.

No

such

But whenever the question sister,

article in the

the answer would be quite

Journal of

the R.

Anthrop.

Inst.,


â&#x20AC;&#x201D; SEX AND REPRESSION

96

Of course

with a strong affective reaction.

different,

knew enough never

I

to ask such a question directly of

a man, and never to discuss

it

company.

in

asking in the form of whether

'

But even

other people

'

could

ever have such dreams, the reaction would be that of indignation and anger.

answer at

all

an embarrassed pause another

after

;

Sometimes there would be no

subject would be taken again, would deny angrily.

my

it

up by the informant.

seriously, others

Some,

vehemently and

But, working out the question bit by bit with

best informants, the truth at last appeared,

found that the actually well

dreams

real state of opinion is different.

known

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; " a man Why

tempered.

?

is

that

'

other people

ashamed," such a

'

It is

ill-

Because he has dreamt that he had " This

man would

say.

I

made me

frequently,

feel

found that this

one of the typical dreams known to

occurring

I

have such

sometimes sad, ashamed, and

connection with his sister."

in fact,

and

is,

exist,

and one which haunts and

confirmed by other data, especially in

we will find myth and legend.

Again, the brother-sister incest

the most repre-

disturbs the dreamer.

That

this is so,

is

hensible form of breach of the rules of

exogamy

which institution makes it illicit to have connection with

any woman sister

incest

of the is

same

clan.

regarded with the utmost horror, a

breach of clan exogamy desirable,

But though the brother-

is

a thing both smart and

owing to the piquant

difficulties in

carrying


;

THE MIRROR OF TRADITION it

out.

In accordance with

this,,

dreams about clan

Thus, comparing the different

incest are very frequent.

types of incestuous dreams, there

every reason to

is

assume that the mother hardly ever appears and,

if

97

in

them

she does, these dreams leave no deep impression

;

that the more distant female relatives are dreamt of

and that the impression

frequently,

left is

pleasant

while incestuous dreams about the sister occur and leave a deep and painful

memory. This

have been expected,

as

for,

we saw when

development of their sexuality, there in

is

is

what might

following the

no temptation

the case of the mother, a violent and strongly

repressed one towards the

sister,

and a

spicy, not very

repressed prohibition about the clans woman.

Brother and

sister

is

regarded with such

first

an observer, even well

inces.t

horror by the natives that at

acquainted with their Ufe, would confidently affirm

would never occur, though a Freudian might

that

it

have

his suspicions.

be found fully sister existed

And

justified.

these,

on closer search, would

Incest between brother

and

even in olden days, and there are certain

family scandals told especially about the ruhng clan of

Nowadays, when the ancient morals and

the Malasi.

institutions break

down under

the influence of spurious

Christian morality and the white man's so-called law

and order tribal

is

introduced, the passions repressed

tradition break through even

and openly.

I

by

more violently

have three or four cases on record in


SEX AND REPRESSION

98

which public opinion

definitely,

though

in whispered

undertones, accused a brother of incestuous relations

with his

was a

One

sister.

lasting intrigue

case,

however, stands out, for

famous

it

for its effrontery, for the

notorious character of the hero and heroine, and for

the scandalous stories spun around

Mokadayu, Like

all of his

success

his

of

Okopukopu, was a famous

profession, he

with

was no

is

and the two

attract each other."

with

all

singer.

renowned

for

say the natives,

a long passage like the wila (vagina),

a beautiful voice will like

him."

less

" For,"

ladies.

" the throat

will like

it.

Many

women

"

A man who

has

much and they how he slept Olivilevi, how he

very

stories are told of

the wives of the chief in

seduced this and that married woman.

For a time,

Mokadayu had a

brilliant

as a

medium, extraordinary phenomena

spiritualistic

and very lucrative career

happening in his hut, especially dematerializations of various valuable objects thus transported to the spirit

But he was unmasked, and

land.

it

was proved that

the dematerialized objects had merely remained in his

own

possession.

Then

there

came about the dramatic

incestuous love with his girl,

She was a very beautiful

and, being a Trobriander, she had, of course,

lovers.

became to

sister.

incident of his

Suddenly she withdrew chaste.

The youth

all

many

her favours and

of the village,

who

confided

each other their banishment from her favours.


THE MIRROR OF TRADITION

99

decided to find out what was the matter.

It

soon

appeared that, whoever might be the privileged

rival,

the scene must be laid in her parental house.

One made

evening when both parents were away, a hole was

and through

in the thatch

the discarded lovers saw

it

a sight which shocked them deeply

;

were caught in flagrante

delicto.

A

broke out in the

which, in olden days, would

village,

have end^ed

certainly

brother and sister dreadful scandal

in the suicide of the guilty pair.

Under the present conditions they were able it

to brave

out and lived in incest for several months

married and

left

she

till

the village.

Besides the actual brother and sister incest, there as

have

I

said, a

is,

breach of exogamous rules which

A woman man under the

same clan

is

called suvasova.

of the

bidden to a

penalty of shame and an

eruption of boils

ailment there

all

is

informants told

a magic, which,

me

with

a

many

as

self-satisfied

incidents

in reality small,

rules of official morality,

A young man who

of

is

such

and as with many other

he who breaks is

my

of

smirk,

The moral shame

efficacious.

fellow.

for-

over the body. Against this second

absolutely is

is

a read

Don

it is

a smart

Juan, and

who

has a good conceit of himself, will scorn the unmarried girls,

and try always

woman, of

have an intrigue with a married

especially a chief's wife, or else

suvasova.

" Oh,

to

thou

The

expression

exogamy breaker

!

'

commit acts

suvasova

yoku

',

" sounds something


SEX AND REPRESSION

100 " Oh,

like,

you gay dog

"

!

and

a facetious com-

is

pliment.

To complete

the picture, the negative evidence

may

be stated here that not one single case of mother-son incest could be found, not even a suspicion of

the loudness and stringency of the taboo

is

it,

though

by no means

summary sentiments among the

so great as in the brother-sister incest. In the

given above of the typical family Trobrianders,

I

have stated that the relations between

and daughter are the only ones

father

same pattern as

built

As could be

in a patriarchal society.

expected therefore, father-daughter incest

means

rare occurrence.

Two

up on the

is

of

by no

or three cases in which

there seem to be no doubt whatever are on record.

One

of

them concerned a

who, besides her relations

girl,

with her father, was the sweetheart of a local boy then

my

in

service.

He wanted

to

marry

her,

and appealed

me for financial and moral support in this enterprise therefore had full details of the incest, which left me

to I

in

;

no doubt whatever about the relationship and

its

long duration.

So far we have spoken about the sexual taboo and the repressed wish to break

it,

which

in dreams, in acts of crime

and

however,

fraught

another

relation

criminal desires, that of a

man

the brother of his mother. there

is

finds expression

passion.

with

There

is,

repressed

towards his matriarch,

With regard

to dreams,

one interesting fact to be noted here

:

the


THE MIRROR OF TRADITION

namely, that in prophetic dreams of death

belief,

always be a veyola

will

son,

sister's

who

and not

action

A man who

fact belonging to the sphere of

dreams

his

is

connected with witchcraft.

Very often a man

own mother. So

learning sorcery,

among

victim from

first

relatives.

maternal

kinsman), usually the

has acquired the black magic of disease

must choose maternal

of

(real

it

foredream his uncle's death.

will

Another important

his

loi

that

his

is

known

to be

kinsmen, that means his

real

relatives, are

said to choose

is

when anyone

near

his

always frightened and on the

look out for personal danger. In the chronicles of actual crime, there are also several

cases

problem.

One

to

be

of

them happened

Osapola, half an hour time,

and

I

registered,

bearing

actors well.

brothers, the eldest blind.

I lived at

that

There were three

The youngest one used

always to take the betel nut before

and deprive the blind man

our

in the village of

away from where

knew the

on

it

properly ripened

of his share.

The bhnd man

one day got in a dreadful fury and, seizing an axe,

somehow managed

to

wound

the youngest brother.

The middle one then took a spear and one.

He was

killed the

sentenced to twelve months' imprison-

ment by the white

resident magistrate.

regarded this as an outrageous injustice. of one brother

bhnd

by another

certainly a dreadful

The natives The

killing

is

a purely internal matter,

crime

and an awful tragedy,


SEX AND REPRESSION

102

but one with which the outer world cerned,

and

in

is

can only stand by and show

it

no way con-

its

horror and

There are other cases of violent quarrels,

pity.

and one

or

two more murders within the matrilineal

family, which I have

Of

parricide,

on record.

on the other hand, there

is

not one single

Yet to the natives, as

case to be cited. parricide

fights,

would be no

I

have

said,

tragedy, and would

special

be merely a matter to be settled with the father's

own

clan.

Apart from the dramatic events, the crimes and tragedies which

shake the tribal order to

its

very

foundations, there are the small events which indicate

merely the boiling of the passions under the apparently firm

up

and quiet its

For, as

surface.

we

norms and

traditional

saw, society builds

ideals,

and

trammels and barriers to safeguard them.

up

sets

Yet these

very trammels provoke certain emotional reactions.

Nothing surprised

me

so

much

in the course of

sociological researches as the gradual perception of

my an

undercurrent of desire and inclination running counter to the trend of convention, law right, the principle that

mother

claim

all affection,

is

line,

Mother-

unity of kinship exists only

and that

in the

and morals.

this unity of kinship should

as well as all duties

and

loyalties,

the dictate of tradition. But in reality friendship and

affection to the father,

and

desires with him,

community

of personal interest

combined with the wish to shake


THE MIRROR OF TRADITION off the

exogamous trammels

of the clan

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;these are the

which flow from personal inclination and

live forces

the experiences of individual contribute

103

much

life.

And

these forces

to fan ever-present sparks of

enmity

between brothers, and between the mother's brother

and the nephew. individual,

we

So that

in the real feelings of the

have, so to speak, a sociological negative

of the traditional principle of matriliny.^ ^

This point has been elaborated by the writer in Crime and

Custom,

1926.


IV

OBSCENITY AND MYTH

TT TE

now proceed

to the discussion of folk-lore in

relation to the typical sentiments of the matrilineal family,

plot on the

and with

boundary

this

we

enter the best cultivated

and anthro-

of psycho-analysis

pology. It has long been recognized that for one reason or another the stories related seriously about ancestral

times and the narratives told for amusement correspond to the desires of those

The lore

among whom they

are current.

school of Freud maintain, moreover, that is

folk-

especially concerned with the satisfaction of

repressed wishes

and that

by means

of fairy tales

and legends

;

this is the case also \vith proverbs, typical

jokes and sayings and stereotyped

Let us begin with these

last.

modes

of abuse.

Their relation to the

unconscious must not be interpreted in the sense that

they satisfy the repressed cravings of the person abused, or even of the abuser.

For instance, the expression

widely current among oriental races and '

many savages,

eat excrement,' as well as in a slightly modified form

among

the Latins, satisfies directly the wish of neither.

Indirectly

it is

only meant to debase and disgust the

person thus addressed.

Every form 104

of abuse or

bad


THE MIRROR OF TRADITION

105

language contains certain propositions fraught with

Some

strong emotional possibilities.

emotions of disgust and shame attention to, or impute,

bring into play

others again

;

certain actions

draw

which are

considered abominable in a given society, and thus

wound

Here belongs

the feelings of the listener.

blasphemy, which in European culture reaches

its

zenith of perfection and complexity in the innumerable variations of

Me cago

'

en Dios

the sonorous Spanish all

the various abuses

and the

like, all of

for they indicate

'

Here, also, belong

spoken.

is

by

despised or degraded

pullulating wherever

!

reference to social position,

criminal

occupations,

them very interesting

what

habits,

sociologically,

considered the lowest depth

is

of degradation in that culture.

The incestuous type addressed

is

of swearing, in

invited to have connection with a forbidden

relative, usually the

mother,

easily take the lead,

of

'

('

its subject,

incestuous expressions

thy mother

wife.'

;

viith

thy

and because it plays an important

The natives there have three

part in the Trobriands.

sister

Have connection

This type of swearing interests us most,

mother').

'

Europe the speciahty

in

with the numerous combinations

Yob twayu mat

because of

is

among whom the Russians

of the Slavonic nations,

'

which the person

' :

Kwoy

inani'

'

Cohabit with

Kwoy lumuta — cohabit with Kwoy um kwava — cohabit with '

'

and

'

;

'

'

'

The combination

'

of the three sayings

is

thy thy

curious


io6

SEX AND REPRESSION

in itself, for

we

the most

see, side

by

types of intercourse used for the same

illicit

The gradation

purpose of offending and hurting. intensity

more remarkable.

still

is

invitation to maternal incest in chaff or as

Jericho

most

is

is

but a mild term used

a joke, as we might say,

offence,

'

Oh, go to

and one used only when

But the worst

aroused.

of

For while the

the mention of sister incest in abuse

',

serious

anger

most lawful and

side, the

insult,

is

a

real

one which

I

have known to be seriously used at the most twice,

and once, indeed,

it

was among the causes

incident of fratricide described above,

to have connection with the wife. is

so

bad that

sojourn

the

in

pronounce

I learnt of its

it

is

Trobriands,

and no native would

but in whispers, or consent to make any

mode

yet

it is

of abuse.

it

stands in no

?

It is

distinct relation to the

enormity or unpleasantness of the is

This expression

the psychology of this gradation

obvious that

incest

the imperative

existence only after a long

jokes about that incongruous

What

is

of the

act.

The maternal

absolutely and completely out of the question,

the mildest abuse.

of the action be

Nor can the

criminality

the reason for the various strengths of

the swearing, for the least criminal, in fact the lawful connection,

is

the most offensive

real cause is the plausibility

and

when imputed.

The

and the

reality of the act,

and

social degradation

the feeUng of shame, anger,

at the barriers of etiquette being pulled

down and the


THE MIRROR OF TRADITION naked

reality

brought to

masked by a most

is

rigid

not so strict of course as that between

etiquette,

brother and tion of

For the sexual intimacy

light.

between husband and wife

107

sister,

but directly aiming at the elimina-

any suggestive modes

jokes and indecencies

Sexual

of behaviour.

must not be pronounced

And

in the

company

of the

two

personal,

direct

sexuality of the relation in coarse

language

is

consorts.

a mortal offence to the sensitiveness of the

Trobrianders. This psychology just because

abuse

discloses that

it

is

extremely interesting,

one of the main forces of

the relation between the reality and

in

lies

to drag out the

plausibility of a desire or action

and

its

conventional

repressions.

The

between the abuse by mother and by

relation

sister incest is

made

Its strength is

measured mainly by the likehhood of

clear

by the same psychology.

reality corresponding to the imputation.

mother incest,

incest

is

The idea

as repugnant to the native as

probably even more.

But

of

sister

just because, as

we

saw, the whole development of the relationship and of sexual

life

makes incestuous temptations

of the

almost absent, while the taboo against the

mother

sister is

imposed with great brutality and kept up with

rigid

strength, the real inclination to break the strong taboo is

much more

actual.

Hence

this

abuse wounds to the

quick.

There

is

nothing to be said about proverbs in the


^

:

SEX AND REPRESSION

io8

As

Trobriands, for they do not exist. sayings and other linguistic uses,

I shall

and mutual

mention here

my

the important fact of the word luguta,

used in magic as a word which

to the typical

sister,

being

signifies incompatibility

repulsion.

We pass now to myth and legend, that is, to the stories told with a serious purpose in explanation of things,

and customs. To make the survey

institutions,

of this

very extensive and rich material clear yet rapid, we shall

these

classify

Myths

(i)

of the origin of

three

into

stories

man, and

categories

of the general

order of society, and especially totemic divisions and social ranks

;

(2)

Myths

ments which contain

of cultural

stories

change and achieve-

about heroic deeds, about

the establishment of customs, cultural features and social institutions

;

(3)

Myths associated with

definite

forms of magic.

The

matrilineal character of the culture meets us at

once in the origins of

first class,

man,

that

is,

in the

myths about the

of the social order, especially chieftain-

ship and totemic divisions, and of the various clans

and

sub-clans.

These myths, which are numerous, for

every locality has

its

own

a sort of connected cycle. beijUgs

Cf.

They

all

agree that

human

have emerged from underground through holes

in the earth. ^

legends or variations, form

Every sub-clan has

its

own

place of

the chapter on Mythology in Argonauts of the Western Pacific,

especially pp. 304 sqq.


THE MIRROR OF TRADITION

109

emergence, and the events which happened on this

momentous

determined

occasion

sometimes

privileges or disabilities of the sub-clan.

us most in them

appearance

is

that the

first

What

interests

ancestral groups

whose

mentioned in the myth consist always

is

woman, sometimes accompanied by her

of a

the

brother,

sometimes by the totemic animal, but never by a husband. In some of the myths the of the first ancestress

is

mode of propagating

explicitly described.

She

starts

the line of her descendants by imprudent exposure to the rain

or,

lying in a grotto,

of the stalactites

She

enters her

pierced

or bathing she

;

opened up

'

is

is

'

in this

womb and

is

by the dripping

bitten

way, and a

by a

fish.

spirit child

she becomes pregnant.^

Thus

instead of the creative force of a father, the mjrths

spontaneous procreative powers

the

reveal

of

the

ancestral mother.

Nor

there

is

appears. exist in

In

any other

fact,

any part

he

is

role in

which the father

never mentioned, and does not

of the mythological world.

Most

of

^ Freudians will be interested in the psychology of symbolism underlying these myths. It must be noted that the natives have no idea whatever of the fertilizing influence of the male semen, but they

know

that a virgin cannot conceive, and that to become a mother a has to be opened up as they express it. This in the everyday life of the village is done at an early age by the appropriate organ.

woman In the

'

myth

'

of the primeval ancestress,

sexually eligible male companion is

selected,

such as a

fish or

is

where the husband or any

excluded,

a stalactite.

some natural object

Cf. for further material

this subject my article in Psyche, Oct., 1923, reprinted as The Father in Primitive Psychology, 1927.

on


SEX AND REPRESSION

no

myths have come down

these local

in very

rudimentary

form, some containing only one incident or an affirma-

and

tion of right

Those

privilege.

of

them which

contain a conflict or a dramatic incident, elements invariably

a

matriUneal family and the drama happening within

it.

There

them

is

ungarbled

in

essential

myth,

depict

a quarrel between two brothers which makes Or, again, in

separate, each taking his sister.

another myth, two sisters set out, disagree, separate

and found two In a

different communities.

myth which might perhaps be

classed in this

group, and which accounts for the loss of immortahty, or,

to put

human

more

it

beings,

it is

correctly, of perpetual

youth by

the quarrel between grandmother

and granddaughter which brings about the catastrophe.

Matrihny female

in the fact that descent is

reckoned by the

—mother-right—in the great importance of the

part played

by women, the matriarchal configuration

of kinship, in the dissensions of brothers

pattern of the matrihneal family, structure of single

myth

myths

is

of this category.

of origins in

plays any part, or even

—in short, the

evident in the

There

is

not a

which a husband or a father

makes

his appearance.

matrihneal nature of the mythological drama

That the is

closely

associated with the matrihneal repressions within the

family should need no further argument to convince

a psycho-analyst. Let us

now

turn to the second class of myths, those


â&#x20AC;&#x201D; THE MIRROR OF TRADITION

iii

referring to certain big cultural achievements brought

about by heroic deeds and important adventures. This class of

myth is less rudimentary,

consists of long cycles,

and develops pronouncedly dramatic most important cycle

bom

Tudava, a hero

of a virgin

number

celebrated in a

of myths,

the

is

who was

The deeds

action of stalactite water.

The

incidents.

of this category

myth

pierced

of

by the

of this hero are

which

differ slightly

according to the district in which they are found, and

which ascribe to him the introduction

and the rules,

institution of a

of

customs and moral

though his own moral character

The main deed

developed.

one known of all the

all

over the

myths,

runs as follows

Humanity Archipelago.

Dokonikan part

number

of

is

of agriculture

is

very weakly

of this hero, however, the

district,

and forming the bedrock

the slaying of an ogre.

The story

happy existence

Trobriand

:

led a

Suddenly

made

dreadful

ogre

called

appearance in the

his

the islands.

a

in the

He

At the north-western end

fed

on human

community

gradually consumed one

eastern

flesh

after

and

another.

of the island in the village of

Laba'i there lived at that time a family consisting of

a

sister

When Dokonikan

and her brothers.

ranged

nearer and nearer to Laba'i the family decided to

The

sister,

however, at that

moment wounded

fly.

her foot

and was unable to move. She was therefore abandoned

by her

brothers,

who

left

her with her

little

son in a


SEX AND REPRESSION

112

and

grotto on the beach of Laba'i,

sailed

away

in

The boy was brought up taught him first the choice of proper who by his mother, wood for a strong spear, then instructed him in the Kwoygapani magic which steals away a man's undera canoe to the south-west.

The hero

standing.

sallied forth,

and

after

having

bewitched Dokonikan with the Kwoygapani magic, killed

him and cut

off his

After that he and his

head.

mother prepared a taro pudding,

Tudava

brother. in

of the ogre.

sailed

which the uncle with horror and dismay found the

head

of

Dokonikan. Seized with fear and remorse, the

mother's brother offered his nephew in

which they hid

With this gruesome away in search of his mother's When he found him he gave him the pudding,

and baked the head dish

in

atonement

to the ogre.

for

all sorts

of gifts

having abandoned him and his mother

The hero refused

ever5rthing,

and was only

appeased after he had received his uncle's daughter in marriage.

After that he set out again and performed

a number of cultural deeds, which do not interest us further in this context.

In this

drama

in

myth

there are two conflicts which set the

motion

:

first

the cannibalistic appetite of

the ogre, and second the abandonment of mother and

The second

son by the maternal uncle. matrilineal drama,

natural

tendency,

and

is

a typical

corresponds distinctly to the

repressed

custom, as we have found

it

by

tribal

morals

and

in our analysis of the


THE MIRROR OF TRADITION

For the mother's

matrilineal family in the Trobriands.

brother

the appointed guardian of her and her family.

is

Yet

this

and

is

113

a duty which both weighs heavily upon him,

is

not always gratefully and pleasantly received by

Thus

his wards.

characteristic that the opening

it is

of the

most important heroic drama

should

be associated with

a

in

capital

mythology of

sin

the

matriarch's neglect of his duty.

But

second matriarchal conflict

this

independent of the his

head

uncle.

is

is

not altogether

When Dokonikan

first.

is

killed

wood to the maternal frighten him by the sight of

presented in a dish of

If it

were only to

the monster, there would be no point in disguising the

head

in the taro pudding.

was the general enemy head should have

filled

setting of this incident it,

receive

Moreover, since Dokonikan

of humanity, the sight of his

the uncle with joy.

meaning only

if

we assume

sort of association or connivance

and the

The whole

and the emotion which underlies that there

is

some

between the ogre

In that case, to give one cannibal's

uncle.

head to be eaten by the other

is

just the right sort of

punishment, and the story contains then in reality one villain

and one

conflict distributed

over two stages and

Thus we

duplicated into two persons.

see that the

legend of Tudava contains a typical matrilineal drama

which forms

its core,

conclusion.

I

having

shall

pointed

and which remain

out

is

brought to a logical

satisfied,

those

therefore,

with

which

are

features


SEX AND REPRESSION

114

and are

indisputable,

themselves, and

I shall

interpretations of this certain historical I

clearly contained in the facts

not enter in detail into further

myth, which would necessitate

wish to suggest that the figure of Dokonikan explained

altogether

But

and mythological hypotheses.

matriarch, that he

by

may

patriarchal culture into

his

is

with

association

matriarchal one, in which

a;

culture moulds fit

them

If

the present legend would be extremely

interesting in showing

to

the

be a figure handed from a

case he might represent the father and husband. this be so,

not

the prevalent cast of a

and transforms persons and

into its

own

Another incident indicate here,

how

is

situations

sociological context.

in this

myth which

shall only

I

the marriage at the end of the story

of the hero to his maternal cross-cousin.

present kinship system of the natives,

This, in the

considered

is

an improper thing, though not actually

distinctly

incestuous.

Passing to another legendary cycle, of

we have the story

two brothers who quarrel over a garden

often happens in real elder kills the younger.

compunction

life

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;and

plot

The myth does not

for this act.

It

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;as so

in this quarrel the relate

any

describes, instead, in

detail the culinary anti-climax of the

drama

;

the elder

brother digs a hole in the ground, brings stones, leaves

and firewood, and, as if he had just out a big

fish,

killed a pig or

hauled

he proceeds to bake his brother in an


THE MIRROR OF TRADITION earthen oven.

Then he hawks the baked

from one village to another, rebaking time when

become

flesh

about

from time to

it

his olfactory sense indicates the necessity

Those communities which decline

of such a procedure. his offer

115

remain non-cannibalistic ever

flesh-eaters

cannibaUsm

is

traced

to

those which accept

;

Thus

afterwards.

a

fratricidal

act,

preference or dislike for a food thus criminally sinfully obtained.

Needless to say, this

the non-cannibalistic tribes only.

between cannibalism

by the man-eating

and

the

The same

absence

to

and

myth

of

difference

is

explained

Dobu and

the other

its

natives of

is

here

and

cannibalistic districts of the d'Entrecasteaux Islands

by a story in which cannibalism is as anything unpleasant. sists in

a difference,

if

certainly not

This story

also,

branded

however, con-

not in an actual quarrel between

What mainly

two brothers and two

sisters.^

us in these myths

the matrilineal imprint which

is

interests

they possess in the quarrel between elder and younger brother.

The myth about the

origins

of

fire,

which also

contains a brief mention of the origins of sun and moon, describes dissension between

added that in a

fire

in this

myth

two

is

sisters.

It

may

be

described as originating

woman's sexual organs.

* These myths have already been given in Argonauts of the Western Pacific. Chapter on Mythology ', pp. 321-331-332. '


SEX AND REPRESSION

ii6

The reader accustomed pretations

myth

of

psycho-analytic inter-

to

and

and

psychological

to

anthropological writings on the subject in general, will

my

remarks

sophisticated.

All that

find

all

is

said here

on the surface of the myth, and

I

I

is

clearly written

have hardly attempted

any complicated or symbolic however,

and un-

simple

singularly

This,

interpretation.

refrained from doing on purpose.

For the

thesis here developed that in a matriarchal society will contain conflicts of a specifically matrilineal is

better served

argiunents.

if

supported only by unquestionable

Moreover,

sociological point of

nearer towards the

then

it

is

if

I

right,

and

if

but can confidently

interpretation of myth,

we need

let

not rely so

much on

of the matrilineal

we understand

symbolic rehandling, be

The

made

to

conflict

many

of

as direct results

complex could, by

patriarchal outlook.

facts,

the facts speak for themselves.

be obvious to any attentive reader that

the situations which

our

view brings us really one step correct

clear that

am

roundabout or symbolic reinterpretations of

It will

myth

nature

artificial

and

correspond to a

between mother's

who should be natural protectors and always keep common cause, but who often in

brother and nephew,

reality regard each other as

the

fight

brothers,

one ogre might another,

and cannibaUstic violence between two

who

in tribal

law form one body,

all

this

corresponds roughly to analogous conflicts within a


THE MIRROR OF TRADITION And

patriarchal family.

it is

just the difference in the

which distinguishes the

actors, in the cast of the play,

matriarchal from the patriarchal myth. sociological point of

The foundations

myth we have

117

It

view of the tragedy which

the

is

differs.

of the psycho-analytic explanations of

We

no way shaken.

in

have merely

corrected the sociology of this interpretation.

That

correction, however, is of extreme importance,

and even

this

bears upon fundamental psychological problems, has, I trust,

been made

sufficiently clear.

now

Let us pass

to the third class of

myth, that

which we find at the basis of cultural achievement Magic plays an extremely important

and magic.

part in everything which these natives do.

ever they approach any subject which

is

Whenof

vital

importance to them and in which they cannot rely solely

on their

dangers

they

forces,

summon magic

To master wind and weather,

to their aid. off

own

in

saihng,

to

secure

to

success in

ward love,

ceremonial trading or dancing, the natives perform magic.

Black magic and magic of health play a very

great role in their social

economic fishing,

activities

and

exists

of the super-normal

myth

is

in the

important

such as gardening,

of canoes,

and important element.

magic and myth there

in

and

enterprises,

and the construction

as an intrinsic

Most

life,

magic enters

Now

between

an intimate connexion.

power displayed by the heroes

due to their knowledge of magic.

Present


â&#x20AC;&#x201D; SEX AND REPRESSION

ii8

humanity

tj^es of magic have been

and the powerful through the

air,

mythical

that nowadays the most

past in

the

of

from the great

differs

lost.

heroes

effective

Could the strong

men

spells

could

fly

rejuvenate and thus retain their

life

be recovered,

rites

for ever, kill people

and bring them to

life

again, be

always beautiful, successful, loved and praised.

But

it is

myth which draws

not only

Magic

magic.

is

also dependent

every type of spell and foundation. explains

The natives

how

has

rite

tell

lies

influence

myths

This

of its efficiency.

In

in magic,

and

since

social institutions,

magic shapes

myth

exercises

upon them.

now

pass to a few concrete examples of such

of magic.

It will

of one detailed case

myth

mythological

perhaps the main sociological influence of

and maintains many Let us

its

Almost

magic came into man's possession,

this

myth. For myth Hves

its

power from

a story of the past which

and which serves as a warrant this

its

upon myth.

first,

be best to discuss the question*

and

for this I shall choose the

of the flying canoe already published in extenso.^

myth

is

narrated in connexion with the ship-

building magic used told about a time

by the

when

natives.

A

long story

is

there existed magic which,

performed during the construction of a canoe, could

make it fly through the air. The hero of this story, the man who was the last and as it seems also the first

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

^

op.

ciL, pp.

421 sqq.


THE MIRROR OF TRADITION to perform

We

magician. is built it

;

depicted in his role of ship-builder and

are told

how under

his direction a

canoe

how, on an overseas expedition to the south,

outruns

have to

it, is

119

all others, flying

sail

;

how

its

Now

while they

air

owner obtains an overwhelming

success in the expedition.

of the story.

through the

This

is

happy beginning

the

comes the tragedy. All the men in

the community are jealous and fuU of hatred against the hero. Another incident occurs. also of a successful garden magic,

He

and

he can also damage his neighbours. drought

men

his

of his

in possession

is

of one

by which

In a general

Then

all

the

community determine that he must

die.

garden alone survives.

The younger brother

of the hero

had received from him

the canoe magic and the garden magic.

So no one

thought that by IdUing the elder brother they would

The criminal deed

also lose the magic.

and

it is

is

performed,

done not by any strangers, but by the younger

brother of the hero. hero's maternal

In one of the versions he and the

nephews kiU him

in

a joint attack. In

another version again, the story proceeds to after

he has

killed his elder brother,

tell

how,

he then proceeds

The point

to organize the mortuary festivities for him.

of the story remains in the fact that after the deed

was

done, and the younger brother tried to apply the

magic to a canoe, he found out with dismay that he was not in possession of the part.

Thus humanity

full

magic, but only of

lost the flying

magic

its

weaker

for ever.


SEX AND REPRESSION

120 In this

myth

the matriHneal complex comes power-

The

fully to the fore.

hero,

whose duty

it is

to tribal law to share the magic with

his

according

younger

brother and maternal nephew, cheats them, to put

by pretending that he has handed them

in plain terms,

over

all

up an

it

the spells and rites while in reality he only gave

The younger man, on the

insignificant fraction.

other hand, whose duty

would be to protect

it

his

brother, to avenge his death, to share all his interests,

we

find at the

head

of the conspiracy,

red-handed

with fratricidal murder. If

we compare

this

sociological reality It is the

duty

we

of every

mythical situation with the find a strange correspondence.

man to hand over to his maternal

nephew or younger brother the hereditary possessions of the family, such as family

family songs

as well as the titles to certain material

;

and economic

possessions

myth, family magic and

rites.

The handing over

of

magic has obviously to be done during the life-time of the elder man. privileges

The

cession of property rights

also frequently

is

is interesting

done before his death.

that such lawful acquisition

the goods which are due to

and

him by

by a man

It

of

inheritance from his

maternal uncle or elder brother has always to be done against

a

frequently

type is

of

payment

called

very substantial indeed.

pokala, It is still

which

more

important to note that when a father gives certain properties to his son he always does

it

for nothing, out


THE MIRROR OF TRADITION In actual

of sheer affection.

the mythological

life,

swindle of the younger by the elder brother

There

very often paralleled.

is

121

is

always a feeling of

uncertainty, always a mutual suspicion between the

people

who

interests

in tribal

and

also

law should be at one in

two

common

reciprocal duties as well as in affection.

Ever so often w^hen obtaining magic from a man,

I

became aware that he was himself doubtful whether he

had not been cheated out from

magic as a

find

some

his uncle or elder brother.

never in the mind of a

now

of

gift

from the

in possession

of

it

in receiving it

Such a doubt was

man who had

father.

of important

received his

Survepng the people systems of magic,

I

that more than half of the outstanding

also

younger magicians have

powers by

obtained their

paternal gift and not by maternal inheritance.

Thus

in real

life,

as well as in myth,

we

see that the

situation corresponds to a complex, to a repressed

sentiment, and

is

at cross variance with tribal law

and

conventional tribal ideals. According to law and morals,

two brothers or a maternal uncle and friends, allies,

common.

and have

In real

life

all feelings

his

and

nephew are interests

to a certain degree

in

and quite

openly in myth, they are enemies, cheat each other,

murder each

other,

and suspicion and hostihty obtain

rather than love and union.

One more attention

:

feature in the canoe m3rth deserves our

in

an epilogue to the myth we are told that


SEX AND REPRESSION

122

the three sisters of the hero are angry with the younger brother because he has killed the elder one without learning

the

They had already

magic.

learnt

it,

however, and, though, being women, they could not build or sail flying canoes,

through the

they were

able

to

fly

After the crime had

air as flying witches.

been committed they flew away, each of them settling

we see the characteristic matrihneal position of woman, who learns magic first before man has acquired it. The sisters also in a different district.

In this episode

appear as moral guardians of the clan, but their wrath is

directed not

against the crime,

mutilation of clan property.

known sisters

Had

but against the

the younger brother

the magic before kiUing the elder, the three

would have lived on happily with him

for ever

after.

Another

fragmentary

deserves our attention,^

myth already the myth about

published the origins

of salvage magic, in cases of shipwreck. There were brothers, the elder a

two

man, the younger a dog. One day

the senior goes on a fishing expedition, but he refuses to take the younger one with him.

The dog, who has

acquired the magic of safe swimming from the mother, follows the elder one, diving under water. In the fishing

the dog

is

more

successful.

In retahation for the

ill-

treatment received from the elder brother, the dog

changes his clan and bequeaths the magic to his adopted 1

op.

cit.,

pp. 262-264.


THE MIRROR OF TRADITION kinsmen.

The drama

in the favouring

of this

myth

by the mother

consists first of all

of the second son, a

distinctly matrilineal feature, in that the

distributes her favours directly,

123

mother here

and does not need to

cheat the father hke her better-known colleague in the Bible, the mother of Esau and Jacob. There

is

also

the typical matriUneal quarrel, the wronging of the

younger brother by the

One more important

elder,

and

retaliation.

story has to be given here

:

the legend about the origin of love magic, which forms

the most telling piece of evidence with regard to the influence of the matriUneal complex.

Among

these

amorous people the arts of seduction, of pleasing, of impressing the other sex, lead to the display of beauty, of prowess,

and

of artistic abihties.

The fame

dancer, of a good singer, of a warrior, has side, its

of a its

good

sexual

and though ambition has a powerful sway for

own

of love.

prosaic

sake,

some

of

it is

always sacrificed on the altar

But above aU the other means and crude

art of

magic

is

of seduction the

extensively used,

and

commands the supreme respect of the natives. The tribal Don Juan will boast about his magic rather than any personal qualities. The less successful swain will " If I only knew the real Kayroiwo " sigh for magic The natives will is the burden of the broken heart. point to old, ugly, and crippled men who yet have been always successful in love by means of their magic.

it

:

This magic

is

not simple.

There

is

a series of acts,


SEX AND REPRESSION

124

each consisting of a special formula and

have to be carried out one exercise an increasing

may

It

by

its rite,

charm upon the desired

be added at once that the magic

girls to

which

after the other in order to

is

lover.

carried out

capture an admirer as well as by youths to

subdue a sweetheart.

The

initial

in the sea.

formula

is

associated with the ritual bathe

A formula is uttered over the spongy leaves

which are used by the natives as a bathing towel to dry and rub the skin. The bather rubs his skin with the bewitched leaves, then throws them into the waves;

As the leaves heave up and down the beloved one be

formula

is

moved by

sufficient

;

resort to a stronger one.

if

so shall the inside of

Sometimes

passion.

this

not, the spurned lover will

The second formula

is

chanted

over betel-nut, which the lover then chews and spits out in the direction of his beloved.

If

even this should

prove unavailing, a third formula, stronger than the

two preceding

ones,

is

as betel-nut or tobacco,

recited over

some dainty, such

and the morsel

desired one to eat, chew, or smoke. drastic

measure

is

is

given to the

An

even more

to utter the magic into the open

palms and attempt to press them against the bosom of the beloved.

The out

last

and most powerful method might, with-

pushing

the

psycho-analytic.

simile

too

far,

be

described

as

In fact, long before Freud had dis-

covered the predominantly erotic nature of dreams.


THE MIRROR OF TRADITION similar theories were in

125

vogue among the brown-skinned

savages of north-west Melanesia.

According to their

The

view, certain forms of magic can produce dreams.

engendered

wish

dreams

such

in

penetrates

and thus the dream- wish becomes

waking

life

This

Freudianism turned upside-down

is

theory

is

correct

and which

is

realized.

but which

;

erroneous

into

shall not

I

As regards love magic, there

try definitely to settle.

is

a method of brewing certain aromatic herbs in coconut oil

and uttering a formula over them, which gives them

a powerful dream-inducing property.

maker be

making the smeU

successful in

the magic-

If

of this

brew

enter the nostrils of his beloved, she will be sure to

dream

of him.

In this dream she

undergo experiences which she

rite,

if

or

attempt

the several forms of love magic that of the

ascribed to

price

and

life.

sulumwoya is by far the most important is

visions

will inevitably

to translate into deeds in actual

Among

may have

it,

and

it

.

A great potency

commands a

considerable

a native wants to purchase the formula and the if

he wants

This magic

is

it

to be performed on his behalf.

locaUzed in two centres.

on the eastern shore

of the

main

of clean coral sand overlooks the

west, where reef there

One

island.

of

A

them

fine

lies

beach

open sea towards the

beyond the white breakers on the fringing

may

be seen on a clear day silhouettes

distant raised coral rocks.

Among them

of Iwa, the second centre of love magic.

is

of

the island

The spot on


SEX AND REPRESSION

126

the main island, which of the village of like

is

the bathing and boating beach

Kumilabwaga,

is

to the natives almost

a holy shrine of love. There, in the white limestone

beyond the

of

fringe

luxuriant

grotto where the primeval tragedy

vegetation

is

the

was consummated

;

there on both sides of the grotto are the two springs

which

A

still

possess the

beautiful

myth

power

of inspiring love

two spots facing each other across the

is

ritual.

sea.

One

of the

myth is that it accounts love-magic by what to the natives

most interesting aspects for the existence of

by

of magic and love connects these

of this

a horrible and tragic event, an act of incest between

brother and

In this the story shows some affinity

sister.

to the legends of Tristan

and

and

Isolde, Lancelot

Guinevere, Sigmund and Sigelinde, as well as to a

number

of similar tales in savage communities.

There hved in the village of Kumilabwaga a of the Malasi clan

who had a son and

woman One

a daughter.

day while the mother was cutting out her fibre-petticoat, the son,

made some magic

gain the love of a certain

over herbs.

This he did to

woman. He placed some of the

pungent kwayawaga leaves and some of the sweetscented sulumwoya

(mint)

and boiled the mixture, he poured

it

into clarified coconut

reciting the spell over

into a receptacle

banana-leaves and placed

it

went to the sea to bathe.

His

made

of

it.

toughened

in the thatch. sister in

oil

Then

He

then

the meantime

had made ready to go to the water hole to

fill

the


THE MIRROR OF TRADITION

As she passed under

coconut bottles with water. the

spot

where

magical

the

she brushed against the

and some

of the oil

brushed

off

it

had been put,

oil

with

receptacle

dropped down over

her hair

She

her.

with her fingers, and then sniffed at

When she

them.

127

returned with the water she asked her

mother, " Where

is

the man, where

is

my

brother

" ?

This according to native moral ideas was a dreadful thing to do, for no

girl

should inquire about her brother,

nor should she speak of him as a man. guessed what had happened.

my

" Alas,

The

sister

leaf.

tried to

the

She said to herself

:

children have lost their minds."

ran after her brother.

the beach where he was bathing.

pubic

The mother

She loosened her

approach him.

She found him on

He was

fibre skirt

Horrified

without his

and naked she

by this dreadful

sight

man ran away along the beach tiU he was barred by

the precipitous rock which on the north cuts off the

Bokaraywata beach.

He

other rock which stands

turned and ran back to the

up

steep and inaccessible at

the southern end. Thus they ran three times along the

beach under the shade of the big overhanging trees

till

the man, exhausted and overcome, allowed his sister to catch hold of him, in the shallow

and the two

fell

down, embracing

water of the caressing waves.

ashamed and remorseful, but with the

fire

Then,

of their love

not quenched, they went to the grotto of Bokaraywata

where they remained without food, without drink, and


SEX AND REPRESSION

128

without

There also they died, clasped in one

sleep.

another's arms, and through their linked bodies there

grew the sweet-smelling plant of the native mint (sulumwoya).

A man

in the island of

Iwa dreamt the

He saw

magical dream of this tragic event.

He

before him.

woke, and said

growing out of their bodies.

the vision

The two

are dead

must go." He took

I

is

his

he sailed across the sea between his island and

;

that of Kitava. island,

till

Then from Kitava he went

to the

he alighted on the tragic beach.

saw the reef-heron hovering over the in

the

Bokaraywata and the sulumwoya

in the grotto of

canoe

"

:

kirisala,

grotto.

He went

and he saw the sulumwoya plant growing out

lovers' chests.

He then went to the

avowed the shame which had

village.

main

There he

of the

The mother

on her family.

fallen

She gave him the magical formula, which he learned

by heart. He took part of off

it

some

in

part of the spell over to

Kumilabwaga.

of the mint,

to Iwa, to his island. tip of the

There of

magic

left

At the grotto he plucked

and took

it

with him.

He said

"

I

its

;

it will stay,

Iwa and

:

He returned

have brought here the

roots remain in

Kumilabwaga.

connected with the bathing passage

Kadiusawasa and with the water

In one spring the

women." The man

men must of

of

Bokaraywata.

bathe, in the other the

Iwa then imposed the taboos

of

the magic, he prescribed exactly the ritual and he stipulated that a substantial

payment should be made


THE MIRROR OF TRADITION to the people of

129

Iwa and Kumilabwaga, when they

allowed others to use their magic or to use their sacred spots.

There

is

also a traditional miracle or at least

an

augury to those who perform the magic on the beach.

myth this is represented as laid down by the man Iwa when the magic is performed and good results

In the of

;

can be foreseen two small

fish will

be seen playing

together in the shallow water of the beach. I

have but summarized here

myth, for

this last part of the

form contains sociological claims

its literal

which are wearisome and degenerate into boastings

;

the account of the miraculous element usually leads into reminiscences from the immediate past details develop into technicalities

But

into prescriptive homilies. this last part of practical,

personal interest, rest,

;

the ritual

and the Ust

of taboos

to the native narrator

pragmatic, and often of

perhaps more important than the

is

and the anthropologist has more to learn from

than from the preceding dramatic

tale.

The

it

sociological

claims are contained in the myth, since the magic to

which

it

refers is personal property. It

has to be handed

over from a fully entitled possessor to one acquires

it

from him.

in correct tradition.

The fact

the present ofhciator of

All the force of

is

rites

and

all its

lawfully

magic consists

of direct filiation

by which

linked to the original source is

paramount relevance.

the names of

who

In certain magical formulae

wielders are enumerated.

spells the conviction that

In

all

they are absolutely


SEX AND REPRESSION

130 in

conformity with the original pattern

And myth

is

essential.

figures as the ultimate source, as the last

pattern of this retrogressive series.

It is

again the

charter of magical succession, the starting-point of the pedigree.

In connection with this a few words must be said

about the social setting of magic and myth. Some forms of

magic are not

Here belong sorcery, love

localized.

magic, beauty niagic, and the magic of Kula. these forms fihation it is

not

filiation

by

with

a

associated

industries of a

is

none the

kinship.

given

less

important, although

Other forms of magic are territory,

All

with

the

local

community, with certain paramount and

exclusive claims, vested in a chief village.

In

and

garden magic belongs here

which must be born of the thus be efficacious.

soil,

capital

in his

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the

on which

it

can only

Here belongs the magic

shark and other fishing of a local character.

magic

of the

Here also

belong certain forms of canoe magic, that of the red

sheU used for ornaments, and, above

all,

waygigi, the

supreme magic of rain and sunshine, the exclusive privilege of the

paramount

chiefs of

Omarakana.

In these types of local magic the esoteric power of

words

who

is

as

much chained

inhabit the village

magic thus

is

to the locality as the group

and wield the magic.

The

not merely local but exclusive and

hereditary in a matrilineal kinship group. In these cases

the m5rth of magic must be placed side by side with the


-

THE MIRROR OF TRADITION myth

of local origins as

force welding the

131

an essentially sociological

group together, supplying

its

quota

to the sentiment of unity, endowing the group with a

common

cultural value.

The other element conspicuous

in the

end

of the

above story and present also in most other magic

myths

the enumeration of portents, auguries, and

is

miracles.

It

might be said that as the local myth

establishes the claims of the group

magical

myth

vindicates

by precedent, so the

them by

Magic

miracle.

is

based upon the belief in a specific power, residing always

man, derived always from

in

of this

power

is

vouched

to be confirmed also

for

tradition.^

The

efficiency

by the myth, but

it

has

by the only thing which man ever

accepts as final proof, namely practical results.

"

By

man is not

their fruits ye shall

know them."

Primitive

eager than the

modem man

of science to confirm

less

his convictions faith,

And

empirical fact.

whether savage or

The empiricism

civilized religion

without

its

of

civilized, consists in miracles.

living behef will always generate miracles.

no

is

by

without its saints

and

There devils,

illuminations and tokens, without the spirit

God descending upon the community of the faithful. There is no new-fangled creed, no new religion, whether

of

be a form of Spiritism, Theosophy, or Christian

it

Science, ^

cf.

op. also

which cannot prove

its

legitimacy by the solid

chapters on " Magic " and " Power of Words in Magic ", Ogden and Richards' The Meaning of Meaning, chap. ii.

cit.,


SEX AND REPRESSION

132

The savage has

fact of 5lipematural manifestation.

also his thaumatology,

magic

dominates

all

and in the Trobriands, where supernaturalism,

thaumatology of magic. there

is

Round each form

of

a

is

it

magic

a continuous trickle of small miracles, at times

more conspicuously supernatural

swelling into bigger,

proofs, then again, running in a smaller stream,

but

never absent. In love magic, for instance, from the continuous boasting about

its success,

cases in which very ugly

famous

beauties,

it

through certain remarkable

men

arouse the passion of

has reached the climax of

its

miracle -worldng power in the recent notorious case of incest for

mentioned above. This crime

by an accident

is

often accounted

similar to that which befell the

mythical lovers, the brother and sister of Kumilabwaga.

Myth thus forms the background miracles

;

it

of all present-day

remains their pattern and standard.

might quote from other

stories

I

a similar relation

between the original miracle narrated by myth and repetition in the current miracles of living faith.

its

The

readers of The Argonauts of the Western Pacific will

remember how the mythology casts its

shadow on

modem

of ceremonial trading

custom and

practice.

In

the magic of rain and weather, of gardening and of fishing, there is

a strong tendency to see the original

miracle repeated in an attenuated form in outstanding

miraculous confirmations of magical power.


THE MIRROR OF TRADITION

133

Finally, the element of prescriptive injunction, the

laying

down

of ritual, taboos,

crops up towards the end

When

the

myth

of

of a certain

and

social regulations

most mythical narratives. magic

told

is

of the magic, he naturally will state his

by a wielder

own

functions

He beUeves himself to

as the outcome of the story.

at one with the original founder of the magic.

love myth, as

we have

seen, the locaUty in

primeval tragedy happened, with

and

its springs,

which the beach,

its grotto, its

becomes an important shrine infused

with the power of magic.

To the

local people,

longer have the exclusive monopoly prerogatives

be

In the

still

associated with the spot are of the

That part

greatest value.

who no

of magic, certain

of the ritual

which

still

remains bound to the locality naturally occupies their attention.

In the magic of rain and sunshine of

Omarakana, which chief's

power, the

is

one of the comer-stones of the

myth revolves round one or two local

features which also figure in present All sexual attraction,

all

day

ritual.

power of seduction,

is

believed to reside in the magic of love.

In the fishing of shark and of the kalala, specific

elements of the locality figure also. But even in these stories

which do not wed magic to

locality, long

prescriptions of ritual are either told as an integral

part of the narrative or else are put in the of the dramatis personae.

of

myth shows

The

its essentially

mouth

of

one

prescriptive character

pragmatic function,

its


^

SEX AND

134

REPRESSION

close association with ritual, with belief, with living

Myth has

culture.

often been described

psycho-analysis as " the secular

by

writers of

of the race ".

dream

This formula, even as a rough approximation,

is

incorrect in view of the practical and pragmatic nature of

myth

just established.

to touch

upon

It

has been necessary barely

this subject here, for

it is

treated more

fully in another place.

In this work lineal

trace the influence

upon

complex

by myself

I

one

culture

of

matri-

a

studied

only,

at first-hand in intensive field work.

But

much wider

application.

For myths of incest between brother and

sister are of

the results obtained have a

frequent

occurrence

especially in the Pacific,

elder

and younger

maternal uncle,

is

among

matriUneal

peoples,

and hatred and rivalry between

brother, or between

nephew and

a characteristic feature of the world's

folk-lore. ^

"

Myth

in Primitive Psychology," Psyche Miniatures,

1926.


;

PART

III

PSYCHO-ANALYSIS AND ANTHROPOLOGY I

THE RIFT BETWEEN PSYCHO-ANALYSIS AND SOCIAL SCIENCE.

nPHE

psycho-analytic theory of the (Edipus complex

was

first

framed without any reference to the This was only natural,

sociological or cultural setting.

for psycho-analysis started as a technique of treatment

based on

clinical observation.

was subsequently

It

expanded into a general account

of neuroses

;

then

into a theory of psychological processes in general finally it

in

became a system by which most phenomena

body and mind,

in society

and culture were to be

Such claims are obviously too ambitious,

explained.

but even their partial realization could have been possible only

through intelligent and whole-hearted

co-operation

between

and the various other have

become

principles

special

specialists.

acquainted

and been

of research.

experts

led

by

with

in

psycho-analysis

These

latter

might

psycho-analytical

these into

new avenues

In turn, they might have placed their

knowledge and their methods at the disposal

of psycho-analysts. 135


SEX AND REPRESSION

136

Unfortunately the new doctrine was not accorded a benevolent and intelligent reception

most

As a consequence we

analysis. rigid

side

and

and ignorance

on the contrary

of

find

a somewhat

on the psycho-analytic

seclusion

esoteric

:

ignored or combated psycho-

either

specialists

what

without doubt an

is

important contribution to psychology on the other. This book

is

an attempt at a collaboration between

anthropology and psycho-analysis.

Several

similar

attempts have also been made from the psycho-analytic side, as

article

since

an example

of

which

I shall

by Dr. Ernest Jones. ^ This

it

is

a criticism of the

is

first

take an interesting of special

moment,

part of this book,

which appeared as two preliminary

articles in 1924.2

Dr. Jones's essay will serve as a typical illustration of certain differences in the

method

of

approach of

anthropologists and of psycho-analysts to the problems of primitive society

;

it

is

especially suited for this

since the author, in his interpretation of mother-right

among

the

Melanesians,

his

understanding

of

the

complexity of their legal system and of their kinship organization, reveals his grasp of difficult anthropological questions. It will

be convenient here to give a short summary

of the views expressed

>

" Mother-Right

by Dr.

Jones.

The purpose

and the Sexual Ignorance of Savages,"

of

Inter-

national Journal of Psycho-Analysis, vol. vi, part 2, 1925, pp. 109-30. * " Psycho-Analysis and Anthropology," Psyche, vol. iv.


PSYCHO-ANALYSIS & ANTHROPOLOGY essay

his

psycho-analytic explanation

to give a

is

of the institution of mother-right

of paternity

of the ignorance

and

which obtains among certain primitive

According to the psycho-analyst these two

peoples.

phenomena

are not to be taken merely at their face their views

Thus savages, when propounding

value.

137

on procreation, display symbolism kind " as to indicate at least of the truth ".

And

of

such an accurate

an unconscious knowledge

this repressed cognizance of the

facts of paternity stands in the closest relationship to

the features of the mother-right, since each

by the same motive felt

this

of

actuated

the wish to deflect the hatred

by the growing boy towards

In support

is

his father.

Jones draws

hypothesis Dr.

upon the material from the

to a considerable extent

Trobriand Islands, but

differs

from

my

notably in regard to the central theme

conclusions,

—the

deter-

mination of the form of the nuclear family complex

by the

social

observed.

structure

the

of

particular

Dr. Jones adheres to Freud's theory of the

(Edipus complex as a fundamental

phenomenon.

He

is

—in fact primordial

it,

love for the

hatred against the father, the latter

is

important in leading to repression.

of birth

part

in

of escape

is

from the coitus

two

of the opinion that of the

elements which compose

avenue

culture

by

mother and far the

From

most

this

an

sought by simply denying the act

father, " repudiation of the father's

and procreation,

and consequently


SEX AND REPRESSION

138

softening and deflection of the hatred against

But the father

(p. 122).

" attitudes

of

awe,

not yet disposed

is

dread,

him

"

The

of.

and suppressed

respect

hostihty which are inseparable from the idea of the

imago

father

",

ambivalence of savages so the maternal uncle

scapegoat on

from

springing

whom

have

", is

still

" the

obsessional

to be dealt with,

chosen, so to speak, as the

can be heaped

all

the sins of the

older male in authority, while the father can continue

a friendly and pleasant existence within the household.

Thus we have a " decomposition

of the primal father

into a kind and lenient actual father on the one

and a

stern

and moral uncle on the other

other words

the

"

hand

(p. 125).

combination of mother-right

In

and

ignorance protects both father and son from their

maternal rivalry and the

(Edipus

hostility.

complex

matrilineal system with

...

as a

mode

is

its

For Dr. Jones, then,

fundamental

;

and

" the

avunculate complex arose,

of defence against

the primordial

(Edipus tendencies " (p. 128).

AU

these views will strike the readers of the

two parts of

and sound

this

first

book as not altogether unfamiliar,

in all the essentials.

am

not prepared to endorse unconditionally Dr.

Jones's

main contention that both mother-right and

I

ignorance of paternity have

come

into

being

" to

deflect the hatred towards his father felt by the growing boy " (p. 120). I think this statement requires


ANTHROPOLOGY

PSYCHO-ANALYSIS &

139

a fuller testing in the various anthropological provinces.

But

harmony

which

with

to be perfectly well in

with aU the facts which

have discovered

I

and with any other kinship systems

Melanesia,

in

me

view seems to

this

am

I

acquainted

through

Uterature.

Should Dr. Jones's hypothesis become established by subsequent research, as the value of

my own

think and hope

I

will be,

contributions will obviously

much enhanced. For

be very

it

instead of having

attention to a mere accidental constellation,

I

drawn should

have had the good fortune to discover phenomena

In a is

evolutionary

universal

of

way

seems to

it

me

and genetic importance.

that Dr. Jones's hypothesis

a daring and original extension of that

clusions,

must be

in

different

my own

con-

mother-right the family complex

from the (Edipus complex

the matrilineal conditions the hate

is

;

that in

removed from

the father and placed upon the maternal uncle

;

that

any incestuous temptations are directed towards the than towards the mother.

sister rather

Dr. Jones takes, however, not only a more compre-

hensive point of view, in which follow

him

;

he places,

besides,

am

I

a

prepared to

certain

causal

or metaphysical stress in that he regards the complex as the cause,

the

effect.

and the whole

sociological structure as

In Dr. Jones's essay, as in most psycho-

analytic interpretations of folk-lore, custom tions, the universal occurrence of the

and institu-

(Edipus complex


SEX AND REPRESSION

140 is

being assumed, as

if it

existed independently of the

type of culture, of the social organization and of the

Wherever we

concomitant ideas.

find

hatred between two males, one of them

folk-lore

in is

interpreted

as s5nTibolizing the father, the other the son, irrespective of

whether

in that society there are

tunities for a father

repressed or in

illicit

and son to

love

Again,

conflict.

passion which

mythological tragedies

any oppor-

we

all

find so often

due to the incestuous

is

between mother and son, even though such

temptations could be shown to have been eliminated by the type of organization prevalent in that community.

Consequently Dr. Jones in the maintains that while

my

results

the purely descriptive plane sociology

and

attention

is

of the data "

(p.

may

be correct " on

on

127).

which

And

I

insist

is

again that "if

concentrated on the sociological aspects

my view might

" appear a very ingenuous

and perhaps even plausible suggestion was only

quoted above

the correlation between

",

psychology

"extremely doubtful"

article

my

" imperfect

",

but that

aspects of the problem " which " has led to a lack of

a dimensional perspective,

it

attention to the genetic

i.e.

.

.

.

a sense of value based

on intimate knowledge of the unconscious" Dr. Jones arrives at the conclusion,

(p.

128).

somewhat crushing

to me, " that the opposite of Malinowski's conception is

nearer the truth "

The

(ibid).

radical discrepancy between psycho-analytical


PSYCHO-ANALYSIS &

ANTHROPOLOGY

and empirical anthropology or

doctrine

sociology

implied in these quotations does not seem to exist.

I

141

me

to

should not like to see psycho-analysis divorced

from the empirical science of culture, nor the descriptive

work

in

anthropology deprived of the assistance of

psycho-analytical

theory.

I

guilty of overemphasizing the either.

I

cannot

sociological

plead

elements

have tried to introduce these factors into

the formula of the nuclear complex, but

way minimized logical, or

myself

I

have

in

no

the importance of biological, psycho-

unconscious factors.


II

A iy yf

"

REPRESSED COMPLEX

Y main contention

is

"

and adequately

concisely

Dr. Jones himself as " the view

summed up by

that the nuclear family complex varies according to the particular family structure existing in

According to him

(i.e.

family system arises, for reasons,

and then

consists of brother

and uncle hatred patrilineal

one,

familiar CEdipus

;

to Malinowski)

a matrilineal

unknown

and economic

the

and

this

is

and

(pp. 127

remained throughout tive plane",

my

replaced by a

128).

my

As a

All this

previously

field-worker

opportunity of setting forth

I

shall presently take the

my

genetic views.

As has been already mentioned, the crux complex

absolute, the primordial source, in his el

of the

the fact that to Dr. Jones and other

psycho-analysts the (Edipus

Ions

have

I

essay on the " purely descrip-

but in this Part

difficulty lies in

is

views, though

my

Dr. Jones has gone beyond the scope of conclusions.

with nephew

complex becomes the

a perfectly correct interpretation of

published

complex

nuclear

system

nuclear

one"

social

repressed

sister attraction,

when

the

any community.

origo of everything. 142

To me on

is

something

own words the the other

hand


PSYCHO-ANALYSIS & ANTHROPOLOGY the nuclear family complex

143

a functional formation

is

dependent upon the structure and upon the culture of a society. in

It is necessarily

and by the manner I

determined by the manner

which sexual restrictions are moulded in

which authority

in a

apportioned.

is

cannot conceive of the complex as the

community

first

cause of

everything, as the unique source of culture, of organization

and

belief

;

as the metaphysical entity, creative,

but not created, prior to

anything Let

me

all

things and not caused

by

else.

quote some more significant passages from

Dr. Jones's article in order to indicate the obscurities

and contradictions illustrate the

orthodox

to

which

I

They

have alluded.

type of argument which we meet in the

psycho-analytic

discussions

savage

of

custom.

Even where they admittedly cannot be found in actual existence, as in the matrilineal societies of Melanesia,

the " primordial (Edipus tendencies " are

behind

lurking

still

The forbidden and unconsciously loved

only a substitute for the mother, as the uncle

sister is

plainly

"

:

is

In other words the

for the father" (p. 128).

merely screened by another one,

(Edipus complex

is

or painted over

by the other complex,

different

colours.

As a matter

of

uses an even stronger terminology

the " repression of the complex "

fact.

in

slightly

Dr.

Jones

and speaks about and about

" the

various complicated devices whereby this repression


SEX AND REPRESSION

144 is

brought about and maintained"

comes the first obscurity. a complex

is

I

And

(p. 120).

here

have always understood that

an actual configuration of attitudes and

sentiments partly overt, partly repressed, but actually existing in the unconscious.

Such a complex can always

be empirically reached by the practical methods of psycho-analysis,

and other If,

by the study

of mythology, folk-lore

cultural manifestations of the unconscious.

however, as Dr. Jones seems fully to admit, the

attitudes typical of the (Edipus complex cannot be

found either

in the conscious or unconscious

has been proved, there are no traces of

it

;

either in

Trobriand folk-lore or in dreams and visions, or

symptoms

other

;

if

in

any

we

in all these manifestations

find instead the other

complex

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;where

repressed (Edipus complex to be found

is ?

as

if,

then the Is there

a

sub-unconscious below the actual unconscious and

what does the concept Surely

all this

of a repressed repression

mean

?

goes beyond the ordinary psycho-analytic

doctrine and leads us into some

unknown

fields;

;

I

suspect moreover that they are the fields of meta-

physics

!

Let us turn to the devices by which the repression of the

complex

brought about.

is

According to Dr.

Jones they consist in a tendency to divorce relationship

and

social

kinship

in

the

various

customary

denials of actual birth, in the enactment of a ritual birth,

in

the affectation of ignorance of

paternity


PSYCHO-ANALYSIS & and

so on.

am

this I

would

I

like to state here at

much

very

point of view, though

Thus

I

am

ANTHROPOLOGY

once that in

agreement with Dr. Jones's

in I

145

might

differ in certain details.

not quite sure whether

I

would speak

of

a " tendentious denial of physical paternity " since

am

I

firmly convinced that the ignorance of these

complicated physiological processes direct as

is

of the gradual bodily decay,

secretion,

that happens in the

all

why we

as natural

is

and

the ignorance of the processes of digestion,

human

body.

in short,

of

do not know

I

should assume that people on a very low level

of culture

have received their early revelation about

certain aspects of embrj^ology while in all other aspects of natural science they

causal connections

the

divorce

and

biological

of I

the shall

or

know next

of

at

phenomena.

least

social

the

importance

try

demonstrate

That, however,

partial

autonomy

under

relations

greatest

to

to nothing a$ to the

in

culture

primitive

presently

of is

society at

some

length.

In the matter of ignorance of paternity, however, there seems to views.

me

a slight discrepancy in Dr. Jones's

In one place

collateral relationship

we

are told " there

procreation on the one

hand and the

mother-right on the other.

phenomena in

My

are brought about

what chronological

is

the closest

between ignorance about paternal

view

is

institution of

that both these

by the same motive

;

relation they stand to each other


SEX AND REPRESSION

146 is

another question altogether, which will be considered

The motive, according

later.

to this view, in both

cases is to deflect the hatred towards his father felt by the

growing boy "

The point

(p. 120).

is

crucial

and yet

Dr. Jones does not himself feel quite certain about

For

in

to

suppose

another place he

tells

us that there

savage

the

that

is

ignorance,

rather

or

repression, of the facts of paternal procreation

accompaniment

necessary it is

evident that

it

is

a

though

mother-right,

of

it.

no " reason

must be a valuable support

to the

motives discussed above which led to the instituting of mother-right " (p. 130).

two sentences quoted latter

lucid

is if

is

The

relation

not quite

between the

and while the

clear,

not quite correct the former would be more

we were

told

what the author means by the

" closest collateral relationship

".

Does that mean

that both ignorance and mother-right are necessary effects of the principal cause,

i.e.,

the (Edipus complex,

or are they both loosely connected with

it ?

If so

are the conditions under which the necessity to

the

(Edipus

ignorance,

complex

and what

leads

to

what

mask and

mother-right

are the conditions in which

does not lead to these effects

data Dr. Jones's theory

is

not

?

it

Without such concrete

much more than

a vague

suggestion.

Having examined the

devices, let us

at the " primordial cause ".

(Edipus

complex

conceived

This, as in

an

have a look

we know, absolute

is

the

and


PSYCHO-ANALYSIS & ANTHROPOLOGY genetically

transcendental

manner.

147

Going beyond

Dr. Jones's essay to the anthropological contributions of psycho-analysts in general,

complex being.

is

It

we learn how

the CEdipus

supposed to have originally come into originated

in the primeval horde.

by the famous totemic crime


.

Ill

"THE PRIMORDIAL CAUSE OF CULTURE" T^REUD'S

theory of the dramatic beginnings

totemism and taboo, of exogamy and of great importance

on anthropology.

It

in

all

of

sacrifice, is

psycho-analytic writings

cannot be passed over in any essay

which

like the present one,

tries

to

bring psycho-

analytic views into line with anthropological findings.

We

shall therefore take this

opportunity of entering

into a detailed critical analysis of the theory.

In his book on Totem and Taboo Freud shows

how

the OEdipus complex can serve to explain totemism

and the avoidance

of

the mother-in-law,

worship and the prohibitions of tion of

the

man

God

ancestor

incest, the identifica-

with his totemic animal and the idea of In fact the (Edipus complex, as

Father.*

we

know, has to be regarded by psycho-analysts as the source

of

culture,

as

having occurred before the

beginnings of culture, and in his book Freud gives us precisely the hypothesis describing

came

how

it

actually

into being.

In this Freud takes the cue from two illustrious predecessors, ^

S.

Darwin and Robertson Smith. New York, 1918. American Edition

Freud, Totem and Taboo,

in the text refer to the

148

From

The quotations


PSYCHO-ANALYSIS & ANTHROPOLOGY

149

of " primal horde " or as

it

was renamed by Atkinson " the Cyclopean family

".

Darwin he borrows the idea

According to this view the earUest form of family or social

life

consisted of small groups led and dominated

by a mature male who kept Freud

Robertson

Smith,

about

importance

the

the

suggestion

totemic

sacrament.

received

the

of

earliest

common meal

consisted of a

of

great student,

Robertson Smith considers that the religion

number

in subjection a

From another

females and children.

act of

which the

in

totemic animal was ceremonially eaten by the members

In later development

of the clan.

and certainly the most important rehgious act,

universal

The taboo forbidding

emerged from the totemic meal. the

eating

of

totemic

species

ordinary

at

these two hypotheses Freud added one of his

man common to

with the totem

the identification of the mentality neurotics,

and

some unpleasant animal.

In this context

we

are primarily interested in the

and

Says Darwin

:

"

We may

shaU quote in

I

the passage of Darwin's upon which

is

quadrupeds, armed, as for battling

many

of

with their

them

rivals,

built Freud's

indeed conclude

from what we know of the jealousy

weapons

:

a trait of

children, primitives

sociological side of the theory

theory.

is

own

based upon the tendency to identify the

father with

full

times

communion.

constitutes the negative side of the ritual

To

the almost

sacrifice,

are,

of

all

male

with special

that promiscuous


SEX AND REPRESSION

150

intercourse in a state of nature

...

If

we

is

extremely improbable.

enough into the

therefore look back far

stream of time and judging from the social habits

man

of

now

as he

exists,

the most probable view

is

that he originally lived in small communities, each with

a single wife, or

if

whom he Or he may

powerful with several,

jealously defended against all other men.

not have been a social animal and yet have lived with several wives, like the gorilla

that only the adult male

is

;

for all the natives agree

seen in a band

young male grows up a contest takes place and the

strongest,

by

killing

establishes himself as (Dr. vol.

;

when the

for

mastery

and driving out the

others,

the head of the community

Savage in the Boston Journal of Natural History, V,

1845-47).

The younger males thus being

when

driven out and wandering about would also, last successful in finding

at

a partner, prevent too close

inbreeding within the limits of the same family." I

may

speaks

Nor

is

man and

there

indiscriminately.

gorillas

any reason why we as anthropologists

should blame him for this confusion science can do

is

to deprive us of

insignificant, the distinction

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;the

any

regard to our anthropoid brethren sophically the difference between a is

Darwin

at once point out that in this passage

about

*

!

least

our

vanities with

But

man and

if

a

philo-

monkey

between family as we

* S. Freud, Totem and Taboo, 1918, pp. 207-208, quoted from Darwin, " The Descent of Man," vol. ii, chapter 20, pp. 603-604.


PSYCHO-ANALYSIS & find

among

it

human

He

sociologist.

extreme

of

is

importance

for

and human

life

To Darwin, who was developing a

culture.

argument

the

has to discriminate clearly between

in the state of nature

life

151

the anthropoid apes and the organized

family

animal

ANTHROPOLOGY

the

against

hypothesis

the distinction was irrelevant.

under

biological

promiscuity,

of

Had he been

dealing

with the origins of culture, had he tried to define the

moment

of its birth, the line of distinction

between

nature and culture would have been all-important.

Freud who, as we

shall see, actually does

attempt to

grasp and to render the " great event with which culture began

",

completely in his task in that

fails

he loses sight of this

line of division

and places culture

in conditions in which, ex hypothesi,

cannot

it

exist.

Darwin speaks, moreover, only about the wives

of

the leader of the herd, and not of any other females.

He

also states that the

excommunicated young males

succeed finally in finding a partner and do not trouble

any more about points

their parental family.

On

both these

Freud substantially modifies the Darwinian

hypothesis.

Let

me

quote the words of the master of psycho-

analysis in full so as to substantiate

Says Freud

" :

my

The Darwinian conception

criticism.

of the primal

horde does not, of course, allow for the beginnings of totemism.

who keeps

There all

is

only a violent, jealous father

the females for himself and drives

away


SEX AND REPRESSION

152

the growing sons "

made

see,

the old male

is

all the females for

himself while the

sons remain somewhere

in the neighbour-

to keep

expelled

As we

(p. 233).

hood, banded together, in order to be ready for the

And

hypothetical event.

up before our eyes

indeed a crime

as bloodcurdling as

it is

conjured

is

hypothetical,

yet of the greatest importance in the history of Psychoanalysis, it

is

if

not of

Humanity

destined to give birth to

It is " the great

it is

the " deed that

memorable,

was

criminal

234, 239, 265).

primordial cause of "

future civilization.

One day the

let

mankind come

in the beginning "

act

with

which

.

to rest " ;

.

it is

all

;

the

began

.

moral restrictions and religion

social organization, (pp.

all

event with which culture began and

which ever since has not "

For according to Freud

!

"

Let us hear the story of this culture.

expelled

brothers

joined

forces,

slew and ate the father, and thus put an end to the father horde.

Together they dared and accomplished

what would have remained impossible Perhaps some advance in culture,

for

like the

them

singly.

use of a

new

weapon, had given them the feeling of superiority.

Of course these cannibalistic savages ate their victim. This violent primal father had surely been the envied

and feared model

for each of the brothers.

Now

they

accomplished their identification with him by devouring

him and each acquired a part totem

feast,

which

is

of his strength.

The

perhaps mankind's first celebra-


PSYCHO-ANALYSIS & ANTHROPOLOGY tion,

would be the repetition and commemoration

of this

memorable

This in

.

.

act

.

"

.

.

middle "

about

" the use of a

the

of

(p. 234).

culture

and yet

the

author

description

some advance

new weapon with

animals

pre-cultural

.

human

the original act of

is

the

speaks

",

a

in

culture

about

",

and thus equips

his

store

of

substantial

cultural goods and implements. is

153

No

material culture

imaginable without the concomitant existence of

organization,

show

morality,

presently, this

is

and

religion.

As

not a mere quibble but

to the very heart of the matter.

We

shall

I it

goes

shall see that the

theory of Freud and Jones tries to explain the origins of

culture

by a process which

existence of culture

argument.

A

implies the previous

and hence involves a

circular

criticism of this position will in fact

naturally lead us right into the analysis of cultural process and of

its

foundations in biology.


IV

THE CONSEQUENCES OF THE PARRICIDE T3 EFORE we however, has to

pass a detailed criticism on this theory,

us patiently hear

let

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

us in this matter

tell

listening to him.

"...

together were dominated feelings

it is

that Freud

all

always worth while

the group of brothers banded

by the same contradictory

towards the father which we can demonstrate

complex

as the content of ambivalence of the father in all

They hated

our children and in neurotics.

father

who

sexual

demands and

stood so powerfully in the

way

their

of their

their desire for power, but they

also loved

and admired him.

their hate

by

After they had satisfied

removal and had carried out their

his

wish for identification with him, the suppressed tender impulses had to assert themselves. in the

This took place

form of remorse, a sense of

guilt

was formed

which coincided here with the remorse generally

felt.

The dead now became stronger than the

had

been, even of

men.

as

we observe

What

it

psychic situation of so

to-day in the destinies

the father's presence had formerly

prevented they themselves

know

living

weU from

'

now

prohibited

subsequent obedience

psycho-analysis. 154

'

in

the

which we

They undid

their


PSYCHO-ANALYSIS & ANTHROPOLOGY deed by declaring that the

the father

of

was not allowed, and renounced

substitute, the totem,

the fruits of their deed liberated

killing

by denying themselves the

Thus they created the two funda-

women.

mental taboos of totemism out of the sense of

and

of the son,

correspond with

for this

the

guilt

very reason these had to

two repressed wishes

the

the

of

Whoever disobeyed became

(Edipus complex. of

155

guilty

two only crimes which troubled primitive

society" (pp. 235-236).

We

see thus the parricidal sons immediately after

the act of murder engaged in laying religious taboos, instituting tion, in brief

forms of social organiza-

moulding cultural forms which

handed on

far

down

here again

we

are faced

raw material

down laws and will

the history of mankind.

by the dilemma

of culture exist already

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;in

:

be

And

did the

which case

the " great event " could not have created culture as

it is

supposed by Freud to have done, or was culture

at the time of the deed not yet in existence

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;in which

case the sons could not have instituted sacraments, established laws

and handed on customs.

Freud does not completely ignore he

hardly

seems

He

importance. possibilities

of

crime and of

to

have

this point,

recognized

its

though crucial

anticipates the question as to the

a lasting influence of the primeval its

enduring action across successive

generations of man.

To meet any

possible objections


"

SEX AND REPRESSION

156

Freud summons to his aid another hypothesis

" :

.

.

.

it

can hardly have escaped anyone that we base everything upon the assumption of a psyche of the mass in the psychic

which psychic processes occur as

in

hfe of the individual " of a

collective

endow

soul

is

But

(p. 259).

not

this

assumption

We

sufficient.

have to

comprehensive entity also with an almost

this

"... we

unhmited memory.

the sense of guilt

let

for a deed survive for thousands of years, remaining

effective in generations

which could not have known

We

anything of this deed.

such as might have arisen that had been ill-treated

new

to

Freud

is

of the father " (p. 259).

validity of

assumption but an argumentum ad hominem

his hypothesis

carry

the

260).

universal "

generations of sons

their fathers, to continue

somewhat uneasy about the

ready at hand.

(p.

among

by

generations which had escaped such treatment

by the very removal

this

allow an emotional process

Freud assures us that however daring " .

whole

.

.

we

ourselves do not have to

responsibility

Not only that rule

is

for

for

anthropologists

Without the assumption

such

the writer lays

:

of a

continuity in the emotional

life

and

daring

down a

sociologists.

mass psyche, or a of

mankind which

permits us to disregard the interruptions of psychic acts through the transgression of individuals, social

psychology could not exist at of

all.

If

psychic processes

one generation did not continue in the next,

if

each


ANTHROPOLOGY

PSYCHO-ANALYSIS & had

to acquire its attitude towards

would be no progress

in

development "

And

(p. 260).

important point figment of a

this

here

afresh, there

life

field

157

and almost no

we touch on

a very

the methodological necessity of the

:

collective

As a point

soul.

of

fact

no competent anthropologist now makes any such assumption of " mass psyche

", of

the inheritance of

acquired " psychic dispositions ", or of

any " psychic

continuity" transcending the limits of the individual soul.^

On

indicate

the other hand anthropologists can clearly

what the medium

which the experiences

in

is

and stored up

of each generation are deposited

successive generations.

processes which

we

It

is

moulds him

It

is

thus ^

man add

in

turn.

that

is

It is super-individual

moulded by man and the

only

medium

in

can express any creative impulse and his

share

to

the

common

All the anthropological authorities, for instance,

Freud bases

body

and stereotyped mental

call culture.

but not psychological.

which

medium

This

of material objects, traditions,

for

stock upon

of

whom

Lang, Crawley, Marett, never once in their analysis of custom, belief, and institution have employed such or a similar concept. Frazer above all rules this conception consciously and methodically out of his work (personal communication). Durkheim, who verges upon this metaphysical fallacy, has been criticized on this point by most modem anthropologists. Leading sociologists such as Hobhouse, Westermarck, Dewey, and social anthropologists such as Lowie, Kroeber, Boas, have consistently avoided the introduction of " the collective sensorium ". For a searching and destructive criticism of certain attempts at a sociological use of " mass psyche " compare M. Ginsberg, " The Psychology of Society " (1921). his work,


'

SEX AND REPRESSION

158

human

values.

It is

the only reservoir from which

can draw when he wants to

the

individual

the

experiences of others for his personal benefit.

A

fuller analysis of culture to

which we

shall presently

by which

pass will reveal to us the mechanism

and transmitted.

created, maintained,

it

is

This analysis

show us that the complex

also

will

utilize

the natural

is

by-product of the coming into existence of culture.

be obvious to any reader of Dr. Jones's

will

It

article that

he fully adopts Freud's hypothesis about

human

the origins of

previously quoted

complex

it is

clear that to

the passages

him the (Edipus Hence

it

must

Dr. Jones even

more

the origin of everything.

is

be a pre-cultural formation. explicitly

From

civilization.

commits himself to Freud's theory

following passages

" :

Far from being led by considera-

tion of the subject, as Malinowski was, to

Freud's

revise

(Atkinson's

'

in the

conception

cyclopean

of

family

the

'

primal

it

'),

abandon or horde

seems to

me,

on the contrary, that this conception furnishes the

most

explanation

satisfactory

of

the

problems which we have been discussing " Jones also of

the

is

original

" inheritance

horde "

in full

of

(p. 121).

agreement with the

crime,

for

impulses

he

dating

complicated (p. 130).

racial

speaks

Dr.

memory

about

the

from the primal


V

THE ORIGINAL PARRICIDE ANALYZED T ET

now

us examine

of

by point the hypotheses

point

The hypothesis

Freud and Jones.

of the

"primeval horde "has

in itself nothing objectionable

to the anthropologist.

We know that

human and pre-human

of

the earliest form

kinship was

the

family

based on marriage with one or more females. accepting the Darwinian view analysis has

of

kinship,

discarded the hypotheses of primitive

communism,

promiscuity, group marriage and sexual

and

in

this

In

psycho-

it

has the

full

support

But as we have

anthropologists.

competent

of

Darwin made

seen,

no exphcit distinction between the animal and the

human

status,

and Freud

in

his reconstruction

of

Darwin's argument obliterated whatever distinction was implied in the great naturalist's account.

We have

to

enquire therefore into the constitution of the family at the anthropoid

ment.

bonds

We

end

of the

human

animal and

What

are the

before it

became

have to ask the question

of union within the family,

human and

level of develop-

after

?

human

What kinship

is ;

:

the difference between

between the anthropoid

family in the state of nature and the earliest type of

human

family under conditions of culture

?

The pre-human anthropoid family was united by 159


SEX AND REPRESSION

i6o

modified by individual

instinctive or innate bonds,

experience but not influenced by tradition, for animals

have no language, no laws, no of nature the

In the state

institutions.

male and female mate, driven by the

selective sexual impulse operating at the time of rut

and

common

of

After the impregnation of

at that time only.

the female, a

new impulse

life,

leads to the establishment

the male acting as protector and

With the

guarding over the process of pregnancy.

act of birth, the maternal impulses of suckling, tending,

and caring

for the offspring

appear

new

while the male responds to the

providing food, keeping watch, and in

dangerous combats

in the

if

the female,

in

situation

by

need be engaging

defence of the family.

Considering the protracted growth and slow ripening of the individual

among

the anthropoid apes,

it

is

indispensable for the species that parental love should arise in

both male and female and

after birth until the after himself.

new

As soon

last for

individual

as he

is

is

some time

ready to look

mature there

biological need to keep the family together. shall see, this

need

of co-operation the

united the

;

new soon

members

where

of the family

no

As we

for the sake

must remain

while for the sake of handing on tradition

generation must remain in contact with the

previous one. as

arises in culture,

is

as

But the

in the

pre-human Cyclopean family

male or female children became

independent they would naturally leave the horde.


PSYCHO-ANALYSIS & ANTHROPOLOGY This

what we

is

find empirically in every simian

This subserves the interests of the species

species.

and

has therefore to be

It also tallies

with

assumed on general

all

which we can

general knowledge of animal instincts. in

i6i

principles.

from our

infer

We

find also

most higher mammals that the old male leaves

the herd as soon as he

makes room

is

past

we

and more

is

service-

in

animals

and an old leader

liable to create conflict.

that the working

see

This

man temper

does not improve with age,

this

vigour and thus

younger guardian.

for a

able for a species, for as with

less useful

full

room

condition of nature leaves no tions, inner conflicts,

of

instincts

In in

is

all

the

for special complica-

suspended emotions or tragical

events.

Family

life

in

the highest animal species

is

thus

cemented and governed by innate emotional attitudes.

Where

the biological need arises there also appear

When

the appropriate mental responses. ceases

emotional

the

the need

disappears.

attitude

If

we

define instinct as a pattern of behaviour in direct

response to a situation, a response accompanied by pleasurable feelings

family

life is

courtship, infants

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; then

can say that animal

determined by a chain of linked instincts

mating,

common

and mutual help

links follows the other, it is

we

life,

tenderness towards

of the parents.

releasing

:

it

Each

of these

completely, for

characteristic of such concatenations of instinctive


SEX AND REPRESSION

i62

responses that each

new

new type

situation requires a

of behaviour

and a new emotional

logically

very important to realize that each new

it is

Psycho-

attitude.

response replaces and obliterates the old emotional attitude

that no traces of the previous emotion

;

are carried over into the

by a new

instinct the animal

previous

a

of

new

one.

ambivalent emotion

While governed

one.

is

no more

Remorse,

mental

The working

the unrolling of instinctive sequences,

it

is

human,

of instincts,

may

accompanied by more or

less successful,

conflict,

—these are cultural, that

and not animal responses.

but

in the throes

be more or

less friction,

does not leave any room for " endopsychic

tragedies ".

What

is

the importance of

respect to the

all this in

hypothesis of primeval crime

?

I

have pointed out

repeatedly that the Great Tragedy has been placed

by Freud

the

at

multiplied

Freud and Jones

it

its

Putting aside the several direct quota-

inaugural act. tions from

threshold of culture and as

is

—and these could be easily

important to realize that this

assumption indispensable to their theories

is

an

all their

:

we do not make culture To the psychobegin with the Totemic Parricide. analyst the (Edipus complex is, as we know, the

hypotheses would collapse

foundation of

not

only

phenomena

all culture.

that

but

the also

if

This must

complex that

it

mean

governs

all

preceded

to

them

cultural

them

all


PSYCHO-ANALYSIS & ANTHROPOLOGY The complex

temporarily.

is

the fons

et

origo out of

which there has grown the totemic order, the elements of law, the beginnings of

163

first

the institution

ritual,

which to the general

of mother-right, everything in fact

anthropologist and to the psycho-analyst counts as

the

my

moreover, to

Jones objects,

Dr.

elements of culture.

first

attempt at tracing any cultural

causes of the (Edipus complex just because this complex

antedates

all culture.

complex has preceded

But all

it

obvious that

is

if

the

cultural phenomena, then

a fortiori the totemic crime, which the complex, must be placed

is

the cause of

further back.

still

After having thus established that the event must

have happened before culture, we are faced with the other alternative of our dilemma

could that totemic

:

crime have happened in the state of nature it

have

left

traces in tradition

and

ex hypothesi did not exist at that time

above,

we would have

and become Man.

Or

culture, ?

Could

which

As indicated

assume that by one act

to

of collective parricide the

?

Ape had

again, that

attained culture

by the same

act

they acquired the so-called racial memory, a new super-animal endowment.

Let us analyze this family

life

of

now

in

detail.

In the

a pre-human anthropoid species each

link in the chain of instincts it

more

ceases to be serviceable.

is

released as soon as

Past instinctive attitudes

leave no active traces, and neither conflict nor complex


SEX AND REPRESSION

i64

These assertions should,

attitudes are possible.

submit, be further tested

psychology, but they

the subject.

If this

by

embody

the student of animal all

that

we know about

be so, however, we have to challenge

Why

the premises of Freud's Cyclopean h5^otheses. the father have to expel the sons

should

I

if

they

naturally and instinctively are inclined to leave the

the family as soon as they have no more need of

parental protection

Why

?

should they lack females,

from other groups, as well as from their own, adult

if

come out

children of the other sex have also to

Why

the parental horde,

and

?

should the young males remain hanging around

why

desire his death

should they hate the father

As we know they

?

are glad to

be free and they have no wish to return to the parental

Why

horde.

should they finally even attempt or

accomplish the cumbersome and unpleasant act of killing the old male, while

by merely waiting

for his

retirement they might gain a free access to the horde

should they so desire

Each

?

of these questions challenges

one of the un-

warranted assumptions implied in Freud's h5^othesis.

Freud

in fact

number

burdens his Cyclopean family with a

of tendencies, habits,

and mental attitudes

which would constitute a lethal endowment for any animal species.

on

biological

It is clear that

grounds.

such a view

We

cannot

is

untenable

assume

the

existence in the state of nature of an anthropoid


PSYCHO-ANALYSIS & ANTHROPOLOGY species

which the most important business of

in

propagation hostile

165

is

regulated

by a system

every interest

to

of

the

of

instincts

species.

It

is

easy to perceive that the primeval horde has been

equipped with

the bias, maladjustments and

all

ill-

tempers of a middle-class European family, and then let loose in

a prehistoric jungle to run

a most

riot in

attractive but fantastic hypothesis.

Let us 5aeld, however, to the temptation of Freud's inspiring speculations

and admit

for the sake of the

argument that the primeval crime had been committed.

Even then we

are faced

by insurmountable

in accepting the consequences.

difficulties

As we saw, we are

asked to beUeve that the totemic crime produces remorse which cannibalistic of

is

expressed in the sacrament of endo-

totemic feast, and

the

in

This impUes that

sexual taboo.

sons had a conscience.

But conscience

also

impUes that they had the

legislating,

of

establishing

moral

ceremonies and social bonds.

All of

a most

is

man by

unnatural mental trait imposed upon It

institution

the parricidal

culture.

possibilities

values,

of

religious

which again

it is

impossible to assume or imagine, for the simple reason

that

hypothesi

the

events

pre-cultural milieu,

and

culture,

ex

cannot be created

in

are

happening

in

we must remember,

one moment and by one

act.

The actual transition from the state of nature into that of culture

was not done by one

leap, it

was not a rapid


SEX AND REPRESSION

i66

We

process, certainly not a sharp transition.

to imagine the early developments of the

first

have

elements

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;speech, tradition, material inventions, conceptual thought â&#x20AC;&#x201D; as a very laborious and very slow of

culture

manner by

process achieved in a cumulative

many,

infinitely small steps integrated

This process

stretches of time.

we

reconstruct in detail, but factors of the change,

early

human

culture

infinitely

over enormous

we cannot

try to

can state the relevant

we can analyze

the situation of

and indicate within certain

limits

the mechanism

by which it came about. To sum up our critical analysis we have found that :

the totemic crime must have been placed at the very origins of culture of culture

that

if it is

we have

to

as happening

that

;

to

it

must be made the

have any sense at

assume the crime and

still

cause

This means

all.

its

first

consequences

in the state of nature,

but such an

assumption involves us in a number of contradictions.

We

find that there

is

in reality a

complete absence

of motive for a parricidal crime, since the working of instincts

is

situation

;

animal conditions well adjusted to the

in

since

mental states

;

it

leads to conflicts but not to repressed

since concretely the sons

for hefting their father after

In the second place

nature there

is

we have

they have

have no reason left

seen that in the state of

also a complete absence of

by which the consequences

the horde.

any means

of the totemic crime could

have been fixed into the cultural

institutions.

There


ANTHROPOLOGY

PSYCHO-ANALYSIS &

medium

a complete absence of any cultural

is

which

ritual,

and

laws,

morals

167 in

have been

could

embodied.

Both objections could be summarized that

it

is

impossible to assume

as one creative act

in the verdict

origins

of culture

culture, fully armed,

by which

springs into being out of one crime, cataclysm or rebellion.

In our criticism

what

on

objection

we have concentrated our

appears

be

to

fundamental

most

hypothesis,

Freud's

to

the

attention

an

objection

connected with the very nature of culture and of Several other objections of detail

cultural process.

could be registered against this hypothesis but they

have been already

forth in an excellent article

set

which the anthropological

of Professor Kroeber's in

as well as the psycho-analytical inconsistencies of the

hypothesis are lucidly and convincingly

There

is,

listed.^

however, one more capital difficulty in which

psycho-analysis involves

totemic origins.

complex and

If

itself

by

its

speculations on

the real cause of the CEdipus

of culture

into

the bargain

is

to

be

sought in that traumatic act of birth by parricide

;

" race memory if the complex merely survived in the then the complex ought obviously of mankind "

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

to wear out with time. ^

"

On

Freud's theory the CEdipus

Totem and Taboo, an Ethnologic Psychoanalysis," American

Anthropologist, 1920, pp. 48 seqq.


â&#x20AC;&#x201D; SEX AND REPRESSION

i68

complex should have been a dreadful a haunting memory it

reality at first,

but in the highest culture

later,

should tend to disappear. This corrollary seems inescapable, but there

need of driving it

a

to

him

full

and

it

home

is

no

Jones gives

dialectically, for Dr.

According

lucid expression in his article.

patriarchy, the social organization of the highest

cultures,

marks indeed the happy solution

difficulties

of all the

due to the primeval crime.

" The patriarchal system, as

we know

it,

betokens

acknowledging the supremacy of the father and yet the ability to accept this even with affection, without

having recourse to a system either of mother-right or of complicated taboos.

gradual

the

At

last

him.

man

It

assimilation

means the taming

man,

complex.

(Edipus

the

of

of

could face his real father and live with

Well might Freud say that the recognition of

the father's place in the family signified the most

important progress in cultural development."

Thus Dr. Jones, and on

^

his authority

Freud himself,

has drawn the inevitable consequence.

They admit

that within their scheme patriarchal culture

most distant from the is

also the one

original course of the

complex

where the gradual assimilation of the

" (Edipus complex " has been achieved. perfectly well into the scheme of Totem

But how does

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;the one

it ^

fit

into

Jones, loc

the

cit.,

general

p. 130.

This

fits

and Taboo. scheme of


ANTHROPOLOGY

PSYCHO-ANALYSIS &

and how does

psycho-analysis

anthropology

As

to the

bear the hght

it

of

?

first

was not the existence

question,

discovered in one of our

complex

(Edipus

169

patriarchal societies

Is this

?

of the

modem

complex not day by day

being re-discovered in the countless individual psychoanalyses carried on

world

A

?

all

over the

modem

patriarchal

psycho-analyst should no doubt be the last

The (Edipus

to answer these questions in the negative.

complex does not seem to have been so well " assimilated " after

Even

all.

be admitted that a great

if it

deal of exaggeration exists in psycho-analytic findings

we have

ordinary sociological observation to vindicate

the claim of psycho-analysis on this point.

psycho-analyst cannot have try to cure most

ills

by dragging

it

both ways.

of the individual

But the

He

cannot

mind and

of

their family

maladjustments out

of the sub-conscious, while at the

same time he cheer-

society

fully assures us that " the is fully

acknowledged

accepted

in

supremacy

our society " and that

" even with affection ".

patriarchal

institutions

of the father

Indeed, extreme

which patria

in

it is

potestas

is

carried to its bitter end are the very soil for typical

The psycho-analysts have

family maladjustments.

been busy proving that to us from Shakespeare and the

Bible,

mythology. of the

Roman

from

Did

complex

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

if

not

history

the

very

and from Greek eponjmious

hero

such an extension of the term be


SEX AND REPRESSION

170 allowed

And was and

a society pronouncedly patriarchal

live in

?

not his tragedy based on the father's jealousy

superstitious fear

typically sociological

—motives which, by the way, are ?

Could the myth or the tragedy

unfold before us with the same powerful and fatal effect,

we

unless

patriarchal destiny

Most modem

myths

of

moved by a

puppets

the

felt ?

neuroses, the dreams of patients, the

Indo-Germanic peoples, our literatures and

our patriarchal creeds have been interpreted

complex

of the CEpidus

that in

terms

in

under the assumption

i.e.

pronounced father-right the son never recognizes

" the father's place in the family "; that he does not like to " face his real father "; that

" live with

" in peace.

him

he

unable to

is

Surely psycho-analysis

as theory and as practice stands and

with the

falls

modem

truth

of

suffers

from the maladjustments covered by the term

contention

the

that

our

culture

(Edipus complex.

What has anthropology view expressed

in

to say about the optimistic

the passage quoted above

If

?

the patriarchal regime means the happy solution of the (Edipus complex, the stage his father,

complex

and

so

exist in

" deflected " in the first

on

—then

when man could

where on earth does the

an unassimilated form

That

?

under mother-right has been

two parts of

face

this

book and

independently re-vindicated by Dr.

it

it

is

proved

has been

Jones himself.


PSYCHO-ANALYSIS & ANTHROPOLOGY Whether the CEdipus complex

in its full splendour does

exist in a culture never studied empirically

point of view

is

an

171

from

The object

idle question.

this

of the

present work has been partly to stimulate field workers

What

to further research.

might or might not reveal tell.

But

cover

it

and

it

seems to

I for

one

shall

not try to fore-

that to deny the problem, to

up with an obviously inadequate assumption,

much

to obliterate as

towards

me

such an empirical study

as has been already done

not to render a service either

its solution, is

to anthropology or to psycho-analysis. I

have pointed out a

obscurities

in the

series of contradictions

and

psycho-analytic approach to this

question, taking Dr. Jones's interesting contribution

as

my

of

a

main

Such inconsistencies are

text.

" repressed

complex "

the

;

:

the idea

assertion

that

mother-right and ignorance of paternity are correlated

and yet independent

a happy solution

is

well as its cause.

my

opinion

complex

is

round the

of

the view that patriarchy

;

(Edipus

the

complex as

All these discrepancies centre in

the

vera

doctrine

causa

of

that

social

the (Edipus

and

cultural

phenomena instead of being the result that it originated ;

in the primeval crime

memory I

;

that

it

continued in racial

as a system of inherited, collective tendencies.

would

like to indicate just

as a real historical fact, that

one more point. is

Taken

one which has to be

placed in space and time and concrete circumstance,


SEX AND REPRESSION

172

how we

is

to

the primitive parricide to be imagined

assume that once upon a time, in one super-

horde, at one spot, one crime

That

had been committed

this crime then created culture

culture spread

all

assumption

falls

alternative

and that

?

this

over the world by primeval diffusion,

changing apes into

The

Have

?

men wherever

to the is

it

reached

This

?

ground as soon as formulated.

equally difficult to imagine

:

it

a sort of epidemic of minor parricides occurring over the world, each horde going on with

its

is

all

Cyclopean

tyranny and then breaking into crime and thus into culture.

The more we look at the hypothesis concretely,

the more

we

try to elaborate

inclined to treat

it

it,

by Freud

we

feel

as anything but a " Just-so story ",

as Professor Kroeber has called

resented

the less do

it,

an appellation not

himself.^

* Compare Freud's Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego, Sign. Freud, 1922, p. 90. The name of Professor Kroeber is misspelled into " Kroeger " right through all the successive editions. One might inquire what is the psycho-analytic cause of this lapse on the principle developed in The Psych '^pathology of Everyday Life, It is almost unpardonable that no mistake is without its motive. that this misprint of the name of a leading American scholar has

been carried over into the American translation of Freud's book

!


VI

COMPLEX OR SENTIMENT? T HAVE, up denote

the

of the family.

expression,

I

complex " to

towards members

attitudes

typical

"

word

to now, used the

have even retrimmed

into a

it

new

the Nuclear Family Complex, which

is

intended to be a generalization, applicable to various

term CEdipus complex, whose applica-

cultures, of the bility, I

maintain,

restricted to the Aryan, patriarchal

But, in the interests of scientific nomenclature,

society. I shall

is

have to

sacrifice this

Family Complex, introduce

new

terms, but

it is

can be proved that

it

one already established.

I

it

" complex "

carries

which make

it

wort.

At the

mean by

with

least

advisable never to

always a laudable act

is

intruder,

jumping the claim

believe

the

that

unsuitable,

except

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;what the Germans we must make

of

word

implications

certain

it

altogether

scientific colloquialism

it

any terminological

to expurgate science of if

new compound, Nuclear

for not only is

call

clear

as

a

Schlag-

what we

it.

The word " complex " dates from a of psycho-analysis

when

this

tion with therapy,

when

it

was

was

still

in close associa-

in fact not

than a method of treating neurosis. 173

certain phase

"

much more Complex

"


SEX AND REPRESSION

174

meant the pathogenous, repressed emotional attitude

But

of the patient.

whether

in

it

has

now become

questionable

general psychology one can sever and isolate

the repressed part of a man's attitude towards a person,

and

elements.

treat

separately from the non-repressed

it

In our study,

emotions which

we have found

constitute

the

that the various

attitude

towards a-

person are so closely connected and intertwined that

they form a closely knit organic insoluble system. Thus, in relation to the father, the feelings which

up veneration and up with the reflections.

idealization are essentially

dislike,

make

bound

hatred or scorn which are their

These negative feelings are

in fact partly

reactions to an over-strained exaltation of the father,

shadows cast into the unconscious by the too glaring idealization

of

the non-ideal father.

shadow from the part which and that which

is

is

unconscious

in the

sever the "

is

impossible;

The psycho-analyst

they are indissolubly connected. in his consultation

To

in the " foreconscious

room can perhaps

neglect the open,

obvious elements of the attitude which contribute

nothing further to the malady repressed oijes and

a complex. patients

make

of

;

he can

them an

isolate the

entity, calling

it

But as soon as he leaves his neurotic

and enters the

lecture

room with a general

psychological theory, he might as well realize that

complexes do not

exist,

that certainly they do not lead

an independent existence

in the

unconscious and that


ANTHROPOLOGY

PSYCHO-ANALYSIS &

175

they are only part of an organic whole, of which the essential constituents are not repressed at

As a

am

sociologist I

all.

not here concerned with the

pathological results, but with their normal, ordinary

And, although

foundations.

this theoretical analysis

stantiate

it

by

conscious "

as

I

was

better to leave

now, when we can sub-

yet throughout our account of

fact,

family influences,

till

it

have as

well

clearly indicated the " fore-

unconscious

the

elements.

shown

Psycho-analysis has the great merit of having

that the typical sentiments towards father and mother include negative as well as positive elements

that

;

they have a repressed portion, as well as one above the surface of consciousness.

But

this

must not make us

forget that both portions are equally important.

Since

we

see

that the conception of an isolated

repressed attitude

is

useless in sociology,

to gain a clear vision of

how we can

we must generalize

and with what psychological doctrines we should

up our conception

of

try

what we had hitherto

it

link

called

" nuclear family complex ", and which includes besides " unconscious " also overt elements. clearly

that

certain

new

I

have indicated

tendencies

of

modern

psychology have a special affinity to psycho-analysis. I

meant, of course, the very important advance of

knowledge about our emotional

life,

inaugurated by

Mr. A. F. Shand in his theory

of

sentiments and

developed later by Stout, Westermarck, McDougall,


SEX AND REPRESSION

176

and a few

Mr. Shand was the

others.

first

to reahze

that emotiorts cannot be treated as loose elements,

unconnected and unorganized, floating

medium

make now and then an

to

the newer work on emotions,

by

enunciated

emotional

our

claim

that a

;

emotional

:

.

namely,

co-ordinated

number

all

based on the principle

is

himself

definitely

is

life

environment

and

isolated

His theory, as well as

accidental appearance.

first

our mental

in

that

our

with

the

and persons

of things

Round

responses.

each

person or object the emotions are organized into a

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;the

definite

system

feel for

a parent, a country or a life-pursuit.

or hate

love

a system of organized emotions Mr. Shand

The

sentiment.

members

ties

sentiments.

devotion

And

the

first

short essays which

and which

later

calls

a

life

to

ideals of truth,

science

of every

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

man

all

is

a limited number of these sentiments. sentiments was

Such

which bind us to the various

of our family, patriotism,

righteousness,

we

devotion

or

outlined

these

are

dominated by

The theory

of

by Mr. Shand in one or two

must be regarded

as epoch-making,

were expanded into a large volume.^

In his book, Mr. Shand assumes an innate predisposition for a

few systems such as love and hate, into each of

which there enter a number of emotions. emotion again

is

to Mr.

Every

Shand a complex type

* " Character and the Emotions ", in Mind, new The Foundations of Character, 1st edn., 1917.

series, vol.

i,

of and


PSYCHO-ANALYSIS & ANTHROPOLOGY

177

mental response to a definite type of situation, so that every emotion has at

will

command

a

number

of

Mr. Shand's theory of senti-

instinctive reactions.

ments

its

always remain of paramount importance

for the sociologist, since social

bonds as well as cultural

values are sentiments standardized under the influence of tradition

as

it

and

In the study of family

culture.

develops in two different civilizations,

given a concrete application of the Shandian

life,

we have

principles,

the theory of sentiments with reference to a definite social problem.

We have

seen

how

the child's attitude

towards the most important items in his environment gradually formed, and

which contribute towards

its

formation.

The

correction

and addition which psycho-analysis has allowed us

make

is

we have examined the influences

to Mr. Shand's theory

is

to

the consideration of the

repressed elements of a sentiment.

But these repressed

elements cannot be isolated into a water-tight conpartment, and they cannot as a " complex " be regarded as something different " sentiment

to which

".

We

and distinguishable from the

see,

therefore,

that the theory

we must attach our results in order to put them

on a sound theoretical basis

is

Shand's theory of the

sentiments, and that instead of speaking of a " nuclear

complex " we should have to speak sentiments, of kinship

The sister

ties,

of

the family

typical of a given society.

attitudes or sentiments towards father, mother,

and brother do not grow up

isolated,

detached


SEX AND REPRESSION

178

from one another.

The

organic,

indissoluble unity

of the family welds also the psychological sentiments

towards is

its

members

shown very

into one connected system.

clearly

by our

expression " nuclear family

Thus the

results.

complex "

This

is

equivalent

to the conception of a correlated system of sentiments, or, shortly, of

a configuration of sentiments, typical

in a patriarchal or a matriarchal society.


PART

IV

AND CULTURE

INSTINCT

I

THE TRANSITION FROM NATURE TO CULTURE

TN

the foregoing part of this book, in which

we have

been mainly concerned with the discussion of certain psycho-analytic views, our results

mainly

critical

:

we have

tried to establish the principle

that in a pre-cultural condition there in

which

and

social institutions, morals,

be moulded

;

that there

have been

is

is

no medium

religion could

no memory mechanism by

which to maintain and to transmit the institutions after they is

have been established. The position reached

perhaps unassailable to those

who

really under-

stand the crucial fact that culture cannot be created

by one

act or in one

moment and

that institutions,

morals, and religion could not be conjured up, even

by the

greatest cataclysm,

among animals who have

not yet emerged from the state of nature. But naturally

we

are not satisfied merely with

want to

affirm.

mistakes, but process. relation

To

We

do not merely wish to point out

we want this

denying but also

end

to throw light on the actual

we have

to

analyze

between cultural and natural processes. 179

the


;

SEX AND REPRESSION

i8o

The

type

essentially

behaviour

of

of

culture

differs

from animal behaviour in the state of nature.

Man, however simple outfit

under

his culture, disposes of a material

weapons,

implements,

he moves within a

and controls him

social milieu

in turn

which gives him help

he communicates by speech

;

and thus develops concepts

of a rational religious

Thus man disposes

magical character.

material possessions,

of a

and

body

of

within a type of social

lives

organization, communicates

by systems

domestic chattels

by language, and

of spiritual values.

is

moved

These are perhaps the

four main headings under which

we

usually classify

the body of man's cultural achievements. Thus culture

appears to us when we meet

And

plished.

that is it

let

it

as a fact already accom-

us clearly and explicitly recognize

we never can observe

it

in statu nascendi.

Nor

at all profitable to manufacture hypotheses about

the " original events of cultural birth

we do then

human

in trying to reflect

culture, that

is

What can

upon the beginnings

we want

if

".

to do

it

of

without

having recourse to any extravagant hypotheses or unwarrantable assumptions

?

There

is

one important

thing to do, namely, to indicate what part various factors of cultural

process of

;

development have played

what they imply

man's

endowment,

in the

in psychological modification

and

in

what

way

non-

psychological elements can influence this endowment.

For the factors

of cultural

development are intertwined


INSTINCT and

essentially

AND CULTURE

i8i

dependent upon each other, and while

we have no knowledge and no

indications

sequences in development, while in

all

about

speculations

about beginnings the element of time entirely escapes our intellectual control, we can yet study the correlations of the factors

We

and thus gain a great deal

have to study these correlations

of information. in full cultural

development, but we can trace them back into more and

more primitive forms. scheme

of dependence,

appear in

all

cultural

any hypothesis which considered void.

If if

we thus

phenomena, we can say that violates these laws

More than

this

cultural process disclose to us the of certain factors,

have

also

arrive at a fixed

certain lines of correlation

:

if

must be

the laws of

all

paramount influence

we must assume

that these factors

been controlling the origins of culture.

this sense the concept of origins does not

In

imply priority

time or causal effectiveness, but merely indicates

in

the universal presence of certain active factors at all

stages of development, hence also at the beginning.

Let us start with the recognition that the main categories of culture

must from the very outset have

been intertwined and simultaneously at work.

They

could not have originated one after the other, and they

cannot be placed in any scheme of temporal sequence. Material culture, for instance, could not have

being before

man was

come

into

able to use his implements in

traditional technique which, as

we know,

implies the


SEX AND REPRESSION

i82

existence of knowledge.

thought

conceptual

without

impossible

are

Knowledge again and tradition

and

language. Language, thought, and material culture are

thus correlated, and must have been so at any stage of development, hence also at the beginnings of culture.

The material arrangements

of living, again, such as

housing, household implements, daily social

life,

means

are essential correlates

of carrying

on

and prerequisites

of

The hearth and the threshold

organization.

not only symbolically stand for family

life,

but are

real social factors in the formation of kinship bonds.

Morals, again, constitute a force without which

man

could not battle against his impulses or even go beyond his

endowment, and that he has to do

instinctive

constantly under culture even in his simplest technical activities.

It is

the changes in instinctive

which interest us most

endowment

in this context, for here

we touch

the question of repressed drives, of modified impulsive tendencies, that I

shall try to

the

instincts

fantastic

for the (Edipus

".

show that the neglect to study what

happens to human for

the domain of the " unconscious

is,

under culture

hypothesis

complex.

It will

is

responsible

advanced to account be

my aim to show that

the beginning of culture implies the repression of instincts,

and that

complex or any

all

the essentials of the (Edipus

other " complex " are necessary by-

products in the process of the gradual formation of culture.


AND CULTURE

INSTINCT To

human there

end

this

I shall

try to

show that between the

parent and child under conditions of culture

must

arise incestuous temptations

likely to occur in instincts.

which are not

animal families governed by true

I shall also

estabhsh that these temptations

have to be met and ruthlessly repressed since incest

Again,

183

and organized family

culture

implies

life

in

mankind,

are incompatible.

an education which cannot

be carried on without coercive authority. authority in family

by the

and son

human father,

society

is

This

supplied within the

and the attitude between father

gives rise to suppressed hatred

elements of the complex.

and other


II

THE FAMILY AS THE CRADLE OF NASCENT CULTURE

npHE

fundamental change

in

the mechanism

instinctive responses has to be studied

subject matter of our present inquiry of family

human all

life

:

of

upon the very

the early forms

and the transition between animal and

family.

Upon

the

human

family are focussed

psycho-analytic interests and the family

is,

in the

opinion of an anthropological school to which the writer belongs, the societies.!

The

most important group

following

in primitive

comparison of courtship,

mating, matrimonial relations and parental cares in ^

It is clear that in this statement, as

throughout the book,

I

imply

human family is based on monogamous The wide prevalence of monogamy in all human societies

that the tj^ical form of the marriage. is

also

assumed by Dr. Lowie

in his Primitive Society (see especially

A

very interesting and important contribution to the problem is to be found in Capt. Pitt-Rivers's Contact of Races and Clash of Culture, 1927 (see especially chapters viii, sees. 1, 2, 3, and xi, sec. 1). Capt. Pitt- Rivers urges the biological and sociological importance of polygyny at the lower levels of culture. Without fully accepting his view, I admit that the problem will have to be rediscussed from the point of view advanced by him. I still maintain, however, that the importance of polygyny is to be found in the role which it plays in differentiating the higher from the lower classes in a society the plurality of wives allows a chief to obtain economic and political advantages and thus provides a chapter

iii).

;

basis for distinctions of rank.

184


INSTINCT AND CULTURE animal and in

human

185

show

societies respectively, will

what sense the family must be considered as the the

as

society,

of

starting

point

of

cell

human

all

organization.

There

is

one point which must be settled before

Very

can conveniently proceed with our argument. often

we

assumed by anthropologists that humanity

it is

developed from a gregarious simian species and that

man

inherited from his animal ancestors the so-called

Now

" herd instincts ".

this hypothesis

incompatible with the view here taken that

by extension

sociability develops

and from no other

sources. Until

;

until

common

of the family

bonds

has been shown that

it

the assumption of pre-cultural gregariousness

unfounded

entirely

is

is

entirely

a radical difference in nature

shown between human

sociability,

which

is

a cultural

achievement, and animal gregariousness, which innate endowment,

it

is

futile

to

is

show how

is

an

social

organization develops out of early kinship groups.

Instead of having to face the " herd instinct " at every

turn of our argument and show

and

there,

it is

its

inadequacy then

best to deal with this mistaken point of

view from the outset. It

idle,

is

logical

I

believe,

question

lived in

big

to consider the purely

zoo-

whether our pre-human ancestors

herds

and

were

endowed with the

necessary innate tendencies which allow animals to cb-operate in herds, or whether they lived in single


SEX AND REPRESSION

i86

The question we have

families.

any forms

human

of

to answer

is

whether

organization can be derived from

any animal types of herding

;

that

is

whether organized

behaviour can be traced back to any forms of animal " gregariousness or " herd-instinct

Let us

consider animal gregariousness.

first

fact that a

number

of animal species are so constituted

that they have to lead their

life in

by

more or less numerous

main problems

groups, and that they solve the existence

It is a

of their

Can we say

innate forms of co-operation.

with regard to such animal species that they possess a specific

herd

'

definitions

fixed

of

pattern

anatomical

and

'

gregarious

'

behaviour,

instinct

?

a

general specific

All

competent

must mean a

it

with

associated

mechanisms correlated to

The various

carry on

'

agree that

instinct

of

showing

species.

or

certain

organic

needs

throughout

uniformity

the

methods by which animals

the process of search for food, of nutrition

;

the series of instincts which constitute mating, the rearing

and education

of offspring

various locomotive arrangements primitive defensive and constitute instincts. instinct

with

physiological

an

;

;

the working of the

the functioning of

offensive mechanisms,

we can

In each

anatomical

mechanism and a

apparatus,

specific

biological process of individual

and

aim

with

a

in the vast

racial existence.

Throughout the species each individual in

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;these

correlate the

will

behave

an identical manner, provided that the conditions


AND CULTURE

INSTINCT of its

187

organism and the external circumstances are

present to release the instinct.

What about note

we

that

gregariousness

the

find

It

?

of

division

interesting

is

functions,

to

the

co-ordination of activities, and the general integration of collective

life

most pronounced among

forms of animal

life

such as the insects, and

(Compare the writer's

perhaps, coral colonies.

on " Instincts

and

also,

article

Culture " in Niture, July 19, 1924.)

But neither with the

mammals do we

relatively low

social insects

nor with gregarious

a specific anatomical outfit

find

subserving any specific

of

act

" herding ".

The

collective behaviour of animals subserves all processes, it

It

envelops

all instincts,

but

it is

modification of

all instincts

which makes the animals

most

of the species co-operate in

important to note that in of

not a specific instinct.

might be called an innate component, a general

animals

the collective behaviour

all

co-operation

It is

vital affairs.

is

governed

by

innate

adaptations and not by anything which could be called social organization in the sense in

word

to humanity.

in the article

This

I

which we apply

have established more

this fully

mentioned above.

Thus man could not have inherited a gregarious instinct, '

which no animal possesses, but only a diffused

gregariousness

man

'.

This would obviously

mean

that

has a general tendency to carry out certain

adaptations

by

collective

rather

than

individual


SEX AND REPRESSION

i88

behaviour, an assumption which would not help us

much

very

in

any concrete anthropological problem.

Yet even the assumption can

gregariousness

For

erroneous.

out

all

defined

is

be

shown

be

to

there any tendency in

important acts in type

a tendency towards

of

of

common

activity

'

completely

man

any

or even

;

gregariously

'

to carry

?

well-

He

is

capable indeed of developing his powers of co-operation

numbers

indefinitely, of harnessing increasing

But whatever

fellow creatures to one cultural task.

type of activity be considered, carrying on

his

work

demand

the type of culture

man

in isolation it.

if

of his

also capable of

is

the conditions and

In the processes con-

nected with nutrition and the satisfaction of bodily

wants we can find every activity fishing,

by

alone,

food gathering, in

groups or

by individual

collective labour as well as

is

capable of developing collective forms of sexual

competition, of group licence side individual forms of courtship. offspring, in

:

performed either

In carrying out the propagation of the race

effort.

man

agriculture,

human

The

found at least among societies,

by

side with strictly

collective tending of

insects,

has no parallel

where we see individual parenthood

devoted to the care of individual children. while

many

formed

in

Again,

ceremonies of religion and magic are per-

common,

individual initiation

rites, solitary

experiences and personal revelation play as great a

part in religion as do collective forms of worship.


AND CULTURE

INSTINCT There

no more trace of gregarious tendencies

is

domain

189

of the sacred than in

Thus scrutiny

culture.^

any other type

human

of cultural activities

reveal no gregarious tendencies of of fact, the further

of

in the

would

any sort. As a matter

we go back the more the

individual

character predominates, at least in economic work.

never becomes quite solitary, however, and the

It

stage

by

" individual

of

search

certain economists seems to

postulated

food "

for

me

to be a fiction

:

even at low levels organized activities run always side

by

no doubt that

is

field

individual

disappear

and are replaced by

enormous instinct

scale.

from

the

there

individual

economic

collective production

would have then a case

on an of

an

increasing with culture, which, as can be

'

easily seen,

is

a reductio ad ahsurdum

Another way so-called

We

But

effort.

advances

culture

as

gradually

activities

'

with

side

'

of

!

approaching the question of the

herd instinct

'

would be to examine the

nature of the bonds which

unite

men

into

social

groups. These bonds, whether political, legal, linguistic, or customary are one and in fact,

it

all

of

an acquired character

can be easily seen that there

element in them at

all.

Take the bonds

is

;

no innate

of speech

which

unite groups of people at all levels of culture

and

This has been worked out in detail by myself in another and Science " in Science, Religion and Reality, Collected Essays by Various Authors, edited by *

publication, " Magic, Religion

J.

Needham, 1925.


SEX AND REPRESSION

igo sharply it

is

distinguish

them from those with whom

impossible to communicate

Language

is

by word

mouth.

of

an entirely acquired bodily habit.

not based on any innate apparatus,

it

is

It is

completely

dependent upon the culture and the tradition of a tribe, that is

upon elements which vary within the same

and so cannot be

species,

specifically innate.

It is

clear,

moreover, that no " language instinct " could

have

been

who

never

from

inherited

communicated

our

animal

by

a

ancestors,

symbolic

con-

we

take,

ventional code.

Whatever form

we

of organized co-operation

see after a brief scnitiny that

artefacts

it is

based on cultural

and governed by conventional norms.

the economic activities,

man

In

uses tools and proceeds

according to traditional methods.

The

social

bonds

which unite economic co-operative groups are therefore based upon a completely cultural framework. The same refers to

an organization

for purposes of war, of religious

ceremonial, of the enforcement of justice. Nature could

not have endowed

human beings with specific

responses

towards artefacts, traditional codes, symbolic sounds, for the simple reason that

the domain of nature.

aU these objects

The forms and

organization are imposed upon a

by

culture

and not by nature.

lie

outside

forces of social

human community

There cannot be any

innate tendency to run a locomotive or to use a machine

gun, simply because these implements cannot have been


AND CULTURE

INSTINCT anticipated

human In

191

by the natural conditions under which the

species has been biologically fashioned.

man

behaviour

organized

his

all

always

is

governed by those elements which are outside any

endowment.

natural

organization built-up

based upon sentiments, that

and

attitudes

Technically,

with

is

human

innate

not

association

with

artefacts,

material contrivances

tools,

all of

is

complex

tendencies.

always correlated weapons,

which extend beyond man's

Human

always a combination, a dove-tailing of cultural functions.

is

implements,

natural anatomical equipment.

and

human

Psychologically,

It is

sociality is

legal, political,

not a mere identity of

the emotional impulse, not a similarity of response to the same stimulus, but an acquired habit dependent

upon the existence this will

of

become

an

artificial set of conditions.

All

clearer after our subsequent discussion

formation

the

of

of

social

bonds

out

of

innate

tendencies within the family.

To sum behave is

in

up,

we can say

common and

man

that

obviously has to

that his organized behaviour

But while

one of the comer-stones of culture.

collective behaviour in animals

ment, in

Human

man

it is

due to innate equip-

always a gradually built-up habit. with culture, while

sociality increases

been mere gregarious ness

remain constant.

is

The

foundation of culture

it

should decrease

fact

lies

is

in a

that

if it

had

or, at least,

the

essential

deep modification of


SEX AND REPRESSION

192 innate

endowment

in

and are replaced by

which most instincts disappear,

plastic

though directed tendencies

The

which can be moulded into cultural responses. social integration of these responses

an important

is

part of the process, but this integration

is

possible

through the general plasticity of instincts and not through any

We may

specific gregarious

can

organization tendencies, shall

tendency

!

thus conclude that no type of

be

still less

back

traced

to a specific

'

human

gregarious

to

herd instinct

'.

We

be able to show that the necessary correlate of only type of

this principle is that the family is the

grouping which

man

takes over from the animal.

In

the process of transmission, however, this unit changes

fundamentally with regard to stitution,

though

The group

its

tie,

nature and

con-

form remains remarkably unaltered.

of parents

the maternal

its

and

children, the

permanence of

the relation of father to his offspring,

show remarkable analogies throughout human culture and

in the world of higher animals.

But as the family

passes under the control of cultural elements, the instincts

which have exclusively regulated

it

among

pre-human apes become transformed into something which did not

bonds of

exist before

social

man

organization.

:

I

mean

We

the cultural

have now to

enquire into this transformation of instinctive responses into cultural behaviour.


Ill

RUT AND MATING T ET

IN

ANIMAL AND MAN

us compare the chain of linked instinctive

responses which in animals constitute courtship,

human

marriage and family with the corresponding institutions.

Let

point after point, go over each

us,

link in the love-making

and family

apes and ascertain what in

human

life

of anthropoid

beings corresponds

to each.

Among the

apes the courtship begins with a change in

female

factors

organism,

determined by physiological

and automatically

in the male.^

releasing the sexual response

The male then proceeds to court according

to the selective type of wooing which prevails in a

given species. In this

all

the individuals

who

are within

the range of influence take part, because they are

by the condition

irresistibly attracted 1

In this context

I

of the female.

should like to refer the reader to Havelock

ElUs's Studies in the Psychology of Scat (six vols.). In that work the biological nature of the regulation of the sexual instinct under

and the parallel between animal and an important principle of explanation. For an interesting comment upon Darwin's Theory of Sexual Selection, see vol. iii, p. 22 seqq. (1919 ed.). In this volume the reader never lost sight

culture

is

human

societies is used as

of,

a general criticism of the various theories of the sex In volume iv. Sexual Selection in man is discussed volume vi deals with the sociological aspect of the problem.

will also find

impulse.

;

193

o


SEX AND REPRESSION

194

Rut provides opportunities

for display

on the part of

the males and for selection on the part of the female. All the factors

stage are

which define animal behaviour at this

common

to all individuals of the species.

They work with such uniformity that

animal

for each

and only one has to be given by

species one set of data

the zoologist, while, on the other hand, they vary

considerably from one species to another, so that for

new

each species a

description

But

necessary.

is

within the species the variations, whether individual or otherwise, are so small and irrelevant that the zoologist ignores

them and

is

fully justified in

doing

so.

Could an anthropologist provide such a formula

mechanism

for the

human

species

and mating

of courtship

Obviously not.

?

It is sufficient to

open any book referring to the sexual whether

it

be the

classical

in the

life

of

humanity,

works of Havelock

Ellis,

Westermarck, and Frazer or the excellent descriptions in

Crawley's Mystic

Rose,

to

that

find

there

are

innumerable forms of courtship and marriage, that seasons of love-making are different, that types of

wooing and winning vary with each culture. zoologist the species

the unit deals

is

is

the unit, to the anthropologist

the culture.

with

anthropologist

In other words, the zoologist behaviour,

instinctive

specific

with

To the

a

culturally

fashioned

the habit-

response.

Let us examine this in greater

detail.

In the first place


AND CULTURE

INSTINCT we

man there man is ready

see that in

means that and woman as

we

to respond to

nothing in

is

make

to

him

of rut,

love at

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;a

which

any time

condition which,

know, does not simplify human intercourse.

all

There

no season

is

195

man which

acts with the

same sharp

determination as does the onset of ovulation in any

mammalian there in

female.

Does

any human society licentious

we

find,

We know

?

first

have of

that even in the

nothing like

cultures

exists or could ever

culture

mean, however, that

anything approaching indiscriminate mating

is

most

this

existed.

all,

promiscuity

'

'

human

In every

systems of well-defined

taboos which rigidly separate a number of people of opposite

sexes

and

potential partners.

whole

exclude

categories

The most important

of these taboos

completely excludes from mating those people

normally and naturally in contact, that

same

of the

from

number

is,

family, parents from children,

sisters.

As an extension

of

of this,

the

who

are

members

and brothers

we

find in

a

of primitive societies a wider prohibition of

sex intercourse which debars whole groups of people

from any sex

Next

in

relations.

This

is

the law of exogamy.

importance to the taboo of incest

prohibition of adultery. While the

first

is

the

serves to guard

the family, the second serves for the protection of

marriage.

But

culture does not exercise a merely negative

influence

upon the sexual impulse.

In each com-


SEX AND REPRESSION

196

,

munity we amorous

find also interest

inducements to courtship and to the

besides

The various

exclusions.

and

prohibitions

times of

seasons,

festive

dancing and personal display, periods when food lavishly

consumed and stimulants used, are as a

also the signal for erotic pursuits.

numbers

men

men and women

At such seasons

rule

large

congregate and young

are brought in contact with girls from

beyond the

the family and of the local group.

Very often

circle of

some

of

is

of the usual restraints are lifted

girls are

and boys and

allowed to meet unhampered and uncontrolled.

Indeed, such seasons naturally encourage courtship by

means

of the stimulants, the artistic pursuits,

festive

mood.^

Thus

the

signal

for

the process of mating,

is

the

courtship,

given not

and the

release

of

by a mere bodily

change but by a combination of cultural influences. In the last instance these influences obviously act

upon the human body and stimulate innate reactions that

in

they

provide

proximity,

physical

atmosphere, and appropriate suggestions

;

mental

unless the

organism were ready to respond sexually no cultural

make man mate. But, instead of an automatic physiological mechanism, we have a cominfluences could

plicated

arrangement into which

artificial

elements

^ Havelock Ellis has given a wealth of data on the seasonal mating in animal and man in the essay on Sexual Periodicity,

vol.

i

(1910 ed.), especially see pp. 122 seqq.

marck's History of

Human

Marriage, vol.

i,

Compare ch.

ii.

also Wester-


AND CULTURE

INSTINCT

Two

points, therefore,

no purely

biological release

have been largely introduced.

must be noted

mechanism

there

:

is

man, but instead there

in

is

a combined

and formal nature by cultural

in its temporal, spatial,

associated with

;

is

and physiological process determined

psychological

tradition

197

it

and supplementing

it

a system of cultural taboos which limit considerably

the working of the sexual impulse.

Let us inquire

now what

the

is

biological value of

rut for an animal species and what are the consequences

man

for

has to be

selective,

for comparison

and

all

animal species mating

there

must be opportunities

In

of its absence. i.e.

for choice with either sex.

male and female must have a chance to display

Both his or

her charms, to exercise attractions, to compete for the Colour, voice, physical strength, cunning

chosen one.

and

agility in

combat

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;each

vigour and organic perfection

Mating by choice, again,

is

a

symptom

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;determine

of bodily

the choice.

an indispensable counter-

part of natural selection, for without some arrangement for

selective

mating the species would degenerate.

This necessity increases as evolution

;

we ascend the scale of organic

in the lowest animals there is not

need for pairing.

even the

It is clear, therefore, that in the

highest animal, man, the need for selective mating

cannot

have

disappeared.

assumption, that

be

true.

it is

In

fact,

most stringent,

is

the

opposite

more

likely to


SEX AND REPRESSION

igS

Rut, however, supplies the animal not only with the

scribes

and delimits sexual

season the sexual interest

and

petition

interest.

in

is

Outside the rutting

abeyance and the comas

well

as

strife

circum-

It also definitely

opportunities for selection.

overpowering

the

absorption in sex are eliminated from the ordinary life

of

an animal

Considering the great danger

species.

from outside enemies and the disruptive forces within,

which are associated with courtship, the elimination of

the

sex

normal

from

interest

and

times

concentration on a definite short period

its

of great

is

importance for the survival of animal species. In the light of rut in

man

this,

all

really signify

?

what does the absence of

The sexual impulse

confined to any season, not conditioned process,

and as

concerned, of

it is

far as

man and woman.

interests at all times

to

mere physiological

there to affect at any It is ;

work upon and loosen

all

moment

the

all

life

other

tends constantly

existing bonds.

impulse, absorbing and pervading as interfere with all

forces are

ready to upset

left to itself it

not

is

by any bodily

it is,

This

would thus

normal occupations of man, would

destroy any budding form of association, would create

chaos from within and would invite dangers from without.

As we know,

this

is

not a mere phantasy

;

the sex impulse has been the source of most trouble

from

Adam and Eve

tragedies,

onwards.

It is

whether we meet them

the cause of most in

present

day


AND CULTURE

INSTINCT in

actualities,

production.

past history, in

And

myth

199

or in hterary

yet the very fact of conflict shows

that there exist some forces which control the sexual

impulse

it

;

man

proves that

his insatiable appetites

;

does not surrender to

that he creates barriers and

imposes taboos which become as powerful as the very forces of destiny. It

is

important to note that these barriers and

mechanisms which regulate sex under culture are different

from the animal safeguards

With the animal

nature.

instinctive

physiological change throw male situation out of selves

man

in the state of

endowment and

and female

into a

which they have to extricate them-

by the simple play

With

of natural impulses.

we know, from culture and tradition. In each society we find rules which make it impossible for men and women to yield freely to the impulse. How these taboos arise, by what forces they work, we shall see presently. For the moment it is the control comes, as

enough to derive

its

realize clearly that a social

force

from

instinct,

taboo does not

but that instead

has to work against some innate impulse. plainly the difference between

animal at

instinct.

While

any moment, he

imposed check upon is

always

it

In this

we

see

human endowment and

man is ready to respond sexually also

submits to an

this response.

no natural bodily process which

artificially

Again, while there definitely releases

active sexual interest between male

and female,

a


SEX AND REPRESSION

200

number

of inducements towards courtship guide

and

bring out the impulse.

We can now formulate more precisely what we mean by the

plasticity of instincts.

The modes

man

man must mate selectively, mate promiscuously. On the other hand,

only as regards their ends

he cannot

of behaviour

determined in

associated with sex interest are ;

the release of the impulse, the inducement to courtship,

the motives for a definite selection are dictated cultural arrangements.

by

These arrangements have to

follow certain lines parallel to the hnes of natural

endowment

in the animal.

of selection, there ness,

above

There must be an element

must be safeguards

all therfe

for exclusive-

must be taboos which prevent

sex from constantly interfering in ordinary

The

plasticity of instincts in

man

is

life.

defined

by the

absence of physiological changes, of automatic release of a biologically determined cause of courtship.

It is

associated with the effective determination of sexual

behaviour by cultural elements.

Man

is

endowed with

sexual tendencies but these have to be moulded in addition

by systems

of cultural rules

one society to another.

We

shall

which vary from

be able to see with

greater precision in the course of our present inquiry

how

far these

norms can

differ

from each other and

diverge from the fundamental animal pattern.


IV

MARITAL RELATIONS T ET

us follow the universal romance of

And

into its next stage. of marriage into

man and

let

life

and look

us examine the bonds

which lead the two

parallel paths of

animal, of eolithic cave-dweller and of super-

simian ape.

Of what does marriage

animals, especially in apes

really consist in

Mating occurs as the

?

culminating act of courtship and with this the female conceives. its

With impregnation the

rut

is

over and with

end there ceases the sexual attractiveness of the

female to other males. But this

whom

male who has won her,

whom

she has surrendered.

is

not the case with the

she has chosen and to It is difficult to affirm

from the data at our disposal whether nature the higher apes after impregnation.

still

The

in the state of

continue to mate sexually

fact,

however, that the female

ceases to be attractive to other males while her

remains attached to her constitutes

The

animal marriage.

and female to the new

ment

;

the

specific response of

situation

;

their

mate

bond

of

both male

mutual attach-

the tendency of the male to remain with his

consort, to guard her, to assist her,

nourish her

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;these

animal marriage

is

and to protect and

are the innate elements of which

made

up. 201

The new phase

of life


SEX AND REPRESSION

202

new type

therefore consists of a

dominated by a new hnk This new

link

of behaviour

;

it

is

in the chain of instincts.

might appropriately be called the

matrimonial response in contrast to the sexual impulse.

The animal union

based

is

neither

upon the un-

controllable passion of rut nor on the sexual jealousy of the

male nor on any claims

on the part of the male.

It is

of general appropriation

based on a special innate

tendency.

When we

pass to

matrimonial bonds

The

is

human

society

act of sexual union, in the

A

constitute marriage.

sanction

is

the nature of

found to be entirely

special

different.

first place,

does not

form of ceremonial

necessary and this type of social act differs

from the taboos and inducements of which we spoke in the previous chapter.

We have here a special creative

act of culture, a sanction or hallmark which establishes

a new relation between two individuals. This relationship possesses a force derived not from instincts but

from sociological pressure.

The new

over and above the biological bond.

tie is

something

As long

as this

creative act has not been performed, as long as marriage

has not been concluded in a

woman

they

like,

tie,

ment

in

cultural forms, a

man and

can mate and cohabit as long and as often as

and

their

essentially different

Their

its

since there

man,

is

relation

remains

something

from a socially sanctioned marriage. is

no innate matrimonial arrange-

not biologically safeguarded.

Nor

is


AND CULTURE

INSTINCT it,

since society has not established

cultural sanction.

man and

society a

As a matter a

it,

203

enforced by

of fact, in every

woman who attempt

human

behave as

to

they were married without obtaining the appropriate

if

social sanction are

made

to suffer

more or

less severe

penalties.

A new

force, therefore,

a

new

element, comes into

play supplementing the mere instinctive regulation of

animals

And

the actual interference of society.

:

need hardly be added that once

this sanction

it

has been

obtained, once two people have been married, they

not only

may but must

fulfill

the numerous obligations,

physiological, economic, religious,

and domestic which

human relationship. As we have conclusion of a human marriage is not the

are involved in this seen, the

consequence of a mere instinctive drive but of complex

But

cultural inducements. sociologically sealed duties, ties,

by

legal,

societies

and

after

matrimony has been

and hall-marked, a number

reciprocities are imposed,

religious,

and moral sanctions.

of

backed up

human

In

such a relationship can usually be dissolved

and re-entered with another partner but

this process

never easy to carry out, and in some cultures the

is

price of divorce

makes

it

almost prohibitive.

Here we see clearly the difference between instinctive regulation on the one

hand and

on the

in animals

by

other.

While

selective courtship, concluded

cultural determinism

marriage

is

induced

by the mere

act of


SEX AND REPRESSION

204

impregnation, and maintained by the forces of the innate matrimonial attachment, in

by

And

sociological

by the various systems

sanction and maintained social pressure.

induced

it is

by

concluded

elements,

cultural

man

yet here again

it is

not

of

difficult

to perceive that the cultural apparatus works very

much that

in the

same

differs.

more

the

helpless

new-born for

them

In

the

because

necessary

infant

and

same ends though the mechanism

attains the

it

entirely is

direction as natural instincts

higher

the

animals

the pregnant

and

the

longer

more

the

marriage

pregnancy,

female

and the

necessary

is

it

The

to have the protection of the male.

innately determined bond of matrimonial affection

by which the male responds to the pregnancy chosen mate

fulfills

this

of his

need of the species, and

is,

in fact, indispensable for its continuity.

In

man

this

need for an affectionate and interested

protector of pregnancy

still

That the innate

remains.

mechanism has disappeared we know from the

fact

that in most societies on a low as well as on a high level

of

culture

the

male

refuses

to

take

any

responsibility for his offspring unless compelled to

so

by

But each culture develops exist certain

certain

forces

and there

arrangements which play the same part

as the instinctive drives do in an animal species. institution

do

which enforces the contract of marriage.

society,

of

marriage in

its

The

fundamental moral.


AND CULTURE

INSTINCT and

legal

religious aspects

205

must thus be regarded not

as the direct outgrowth of the matrimonial tendency

animals

in

but

as

institution imposes

its

cultural

This

substitute.

upon man and woman a type

of

behaviour which corresponds as closely to the needs of

human

the

species as the innate tendencies in animals

correspond to theirs.

As we

shall see, the

culture binds in the

most powerful means by which

husband and wife to each other consists

moulding and organizing of their emotions and

in the shaping of their personal attitudes.

This process

we have opportunity to fully, and in we shall find the essential differences between animal and human bonds. While in animals we find a chain study more

shall

it

of linked instincts succeeding each other

each other,

human behaviour

is

and replacing

defined

by a fuUy

organized emotional attitude, a sentiment,

While

technically called in psychology.

we have a

series of physiological

happening

within

the

organism,

determines an innate response, in

in the

moments, each

it

is

animal events

of

which

man we have

continuously developing system of emotions. first

as

From

a

the

meeting of the two prospective lovers, through

gradual interests

infatuation

and

and the growth

affections,

we can

and increasingly richer system

of

associated

follow a developing

of emotions in

which

continuity and consistency are the condition of a

happy

and harmonious

relationship.

Into

this

complex


SEX AND REPRESSION

206

attitude there enter, besides innate responses, social

elements,

and

tions

such

as

spiritual

moral

rules,

interests.

economic expecta-

The

stages of

latter

matrimonial affection are powerfully determined by the course of courtship.

and the personal

On

interest of

the other hand, courtship

two prospective lovers

is

coloured by the possibilities of future matrimony and

by

its

advantages.

In the anticipatory elements, in

which the future responses are brought to bear upon present arrangements

and experiences present,

and

;

;

in the influence of

in the constant

future,

we

see

memories

adjustment of past,

why human

relationship

presents a continuous and homogeneous growth instead of the series of clearly differentiated stages

which we

find in the animal.

In

again,

all this,

we meet

the same plasticity of

instincts already noticed in the earlier stages,

see that

considerably general

and we

though the mechanisms under culture

from

forms

into

physiological

differ

arrangements,

which society

moulds

the

human

matrimonial rules follow clearly the lines dictated by natural selection to animal species.


V PARENTAL LOVE /COURTSHIP, mating, and pregnancy lead in and man to the same end

To

spring.

:

the birth of the

this event there is also a similar

under culture.

In fact at

first

mental

off-

re-

woman and

sponse in pre-human species as well as in

man

animal

sight the act

of

birth might be quoted as the one organic event in which

man does

not differ at

indeed,

usually regarded as the one relationship which

is

all

from the animal.

Maternity,

bodily carried over from the simian to the

is

status

;

which

is

human

defined biologically and not culturally.

This view, however,

is

not correct.

Human

maternity

a relationship determined to a considerable degree

is

by

Human

cultural factors.

hand, which appears at

first

paternity, on the other

as almost completely

lacking in biological foundation, can be

deeply rooted need.

in

natural

shown to be

endowment and organic

Thus here again we are forced to compare

minutely the animal with the

human

family, to state

the similarities as well as the differences.

With the animal,

birth changes the relationship

between the two mates. into the family.

A new member

has arrived

The mother responds to it immediately. 207


SEX AND REPRESSION

2o8

She it

watches

licks the offspring,

with her body, and feeds

it

it

warms

constantly,

with her breasts.

The

early maternal cares imply certain anatomical arrange-

ments such as the pouches

milk-glands in the mammals. in

and the

in the marsupials

There comes a response

the mother to the appearance of the offspring.

There

also a response in the

is

young

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

it

is,

in fact,

perhaps the most unquestionable type of instinctive activity.

human

The

mother

endowed

is

anatomical equipment and,

with

similar

in her body, conception,

pregnancy, and childbirth entail a series of changes

analogous to the gestation of any other mammal.

When

the child

stitutes

human

is

born the bodily status which con-

animal motherhood mother.

to be found also in the

is

Her breasts swollen with milk

the child to suck with an impulse

and powerful

as the infant's

as

hunger and

invite

elementary thirst.

The

needs of the child for a warm, comfortable, and safe place dovetail into the extremely strong, passionate desire of the

mother to clasp the

and

correlated to her tenderness

infant.

They

solicitude

for

are

the

child's welfare.

Yet

in

no human

society,

might be

in culture, is

biological

endowment

however high or low

maternity simply a matter of

or of innate impulses.

influences analogous to those relations

it

between lovers

and

Cultural

we found determining imposing obligations


;

AND CULTURE

INSTINCT

between consorts, are at work even

mother

relation of the

follows certain customs ceedings.

becomes a concern of the

The mother has

community.

moulding the

From the moment

to the child.

of conception this relation

in

209

to observe taboos, she

and submits to

ritual pro-

In higher societies these are largely but not

completely replaced by hygienic and moral rules in lower

they belong to the domain of magic and

religion.

But

all

such customs and precepts aim at

the welfare of the unborn child. For

its

sake the mother

has to undergo ceremonial treatment, suffer privations

and

discomforts.

Thus an obligation

is

imposed upon

the prospective mother in anticipation of her future instinctive response. feelings,

culture

Her

dictates

duties run ahead of her

and prepares her future

attitude.

After birth the scheme of traditional relations less

powerful and active.

rules

which

of the

isolate the

is

not

Ceremonies of purification,

mother and child from the

community, baptismal

rites

and

rites of

rest

the

reception of the newborn infant into the tribe, create

one and

all

a special bond between the two.

customs exist societies.

both

in

patrilineal

Such

and matrUineal

In these latter there are, as a rule, even more

elaborate arrangements and the mother

is

brought into

yet closer contact with the child, not onl}^ at the outset

but also at a later period.

Thus

it

can be said without exaggeration that culture


SEX AND REPRESSION

210

in its traditional bidding duplicates the instinctive drive.

More

precisely

time,

all

and

anticipates

it

At the same

its rulings.

cultural influences simply endorse, amplify,

specialize the natural tendencies, those

which bid

the mother tenderly to suckle, to protect, and to care for her offspring.

we

If

try to

draw the

of father to child in

find that

it

is

animal and

between the relation

human

difficult to find

endowment could

exist.

out what instinctive

As a matter

of fact, in higher

cultures at least the necessity for imposing the

marriage

is

practically

that a father has to be

An

bond

and theoretically due to the

made

illegitimate child has,

legitimate one

and the

extent because

it is

as a rule,

latter

its is

natural father as a

cared for to a large

the father's duty.

Does that mean

father

be possible for us to show that the is,

impulses

on the contrary, endowed with

窶馬ot

fact

no chance of

that there are no innate paternal tendencies in It will

of

to look after his children.

same care from

receiving the

we

societies,

easy to discover the cultural elements

humanity but

in

parallel

man ? human

definite

sufficient to establish natural paternity,

but powerful enough to serve as the raw material out of which custom

Let us

mammals. there,

first

is

fashioned.

look at paternity

We know

among

that the male

is

the higher

indispensable

because, owing to long pregnancy, lactation,

and education

of the young, the female

and her offspring


AND CULTURE

INSTINCT

211 Correlated

need a strong and interested protector.

with this need we find what has been called in the previous

This

chapter the matrimonial response.

response, which induces the male to look after the

pregnant female,

is

not weakened by the act of birth,

but, on the contrary,

it

becomes stronger and develops

into a tendency on the part of the male to protect the

whole family.

The matrimonial attachment between

the two partners has to be regarded biologically as an intermediate stage leading up to paternal attachment.

Turning now to

human

we

societies,

see that the

need, far from abating, becomes even stronger.

woman

pregnant and lactant

helpless than her simian

increases with culture.

sister,

is

The

not less but more

and

this helplessness

The children again need not

only the ordinary cares of animal infancy, not merely suckling and tending,

as well as the education of

certain innate tendencies, but also such instruction in

language, tradition, and handicraft as

even in the simplest

human

is

indispensable

societies.

Can we therefore imagine that as humanity was passing

from a state of nature into culture the

fundamental tendency in the male, which under the

new

conditions was

even more imperative, should

be gradually lessened or be led to disappear state of affairs laws.

It

is,

observed in

would run counter to

in fact, completely denied

human

societies.

all

by

For, once a

all

?

Such a

biological

the facts

man

is

made


— SEX AND REPRESSION

212

to remain with his wife to guard her pregnancy, to

observe the various duties which he usually has to fulfill

at birth, there can be not the slightest doubt that

his response to the offspring is that of impulsive interest

and tender attachment. Thus we

see an interesting difference between the

working of cultural and natural endowment. Culture in the

form

of law, morals,

and custom

—forces the male

into the position in which he has to submit to the

natural situation, that

he has to keep guard over

is,

the pregnant woman.

It

forces

him

also,

through

various means, to share in her anticipatory interest in

But once forced

the child.

into this position, the

male

responds invariably with strong interests and positive feelings for the offspring.

And this brings us to a very interesting point. In ^however they might differ in the all human societies

patterns

of

sexual

morality,

in

the

knowledge of

embryology, and in their types of courtship universally found

By

legitimacy.

a

girl

is

pregnant.

what might be

this I

mean

that in

—there

is

called the rule of all

human

societies

bidden to be married before she becomes

Pregnancy and childbirth on the part

unmarried young a disgrace.^

Such

woman is

of

an

are invariably regarded as

the case in the very free com-

^ Wester marck in the History of Human Marriage, 1921, vol. i, pp. 138-157, cites approximately 100 cases of primitive peoples who are characterized by their pre-nuptial chastity. But many of


AND CULTURE

INSTINCT

213

munities of Melanesia described in this essay. the case in

human

all

have any information. anthropological

girls,

I

know

Hterature

children,

illegitimate

societies concerning

that

would enjoy the same

of is

of

a

no

Such

is

which we

single instance in

community where

children of unmarried

social

treatment and have

the same social status as legitimate ones.

The

universal postulate of legitimacy has a great

sociological significance,

acknowledged.

It

which

means that

is

not yet sufficiently

in all

human

societies

moral tradition and law decree that the group consisting

of

a

woman and

sociologically complete unit.

her

offspring

The ruUng

is

not

a

of culture

runs here again on entirely the same lines as natural

endowment

;

consist of the

And

it

declares that the

human

family must

male as well as the female.

in this culture finds a ready response in the

the statements quoted do not afford very definite evidence of this Thus to say of certain tribes that " chastity is prized in man or woman " or that " a good deal of value is laid upon the virginity fact.

of the bride " is not to give proof of lack of pre-marital intercourse.

What, however, is of extreme importance in this computation of evidence from our point of view is that the only thing it definitely indicates is the universality of the postulate of legitimacy. Thus twenty-five of the cases quoted refer, not to chastity, but to the prohibition of an unmarried girl being with child. Further, more

than a score of others indicate, not the absence of illicit sexual relations, but that when they occur, censure, or punishment, or a fine, or compulsion of the two parties to marry, according to the In fact though the total evidence is not tribe, follows discovery. conclusive as regards chastity it does prove that the postulate of legitimacy is of extremely wide prevalence. The two problems should be kept distinct, from the point of view of our argument.


SEX AND REPRESSION

214

The

emotional attitudes of the male. stages of culture interest,

father at

and

interested in his children,

is

no matter how

all

this

might be rationalized

it

certain patrilineal societies,

is

in

exactly the same in

matrilineal societies where the child

is

neither an heir

nor successor to his father nor even usually regarded as the offspring of his body.^

And even when,

polyandrous society, there

no

any knowledge and

is

possibility at all for

matter of who might

interest in the

be the begetter, the one who

is

selected to act as the

father responds emotionally to this It

as in a

call.

would be interesting to inquire

in

what way we

could imagine the working of the instinctive tendency of fatherhood.

With the mother the response

determined by the bodily

facts.

is

plainly

It is the child

whom

she has created in her

womb

and be interested

in.

With the man there can be no

such

between

correlation

fertilizes

the female

that she

the

ovum on

is

going to love

seminal

the one hand and the

sentimental attitude on the other. It seems to the

which

cell

me

that

only factors which determine the sentimental

attitude in the male parent are connected with the life

led together with the

If this is correct,

we

see

mother during her pregnancy.

how

the dictates of culture are

necessary in order to stimulate and organize emotional attitudes in

man and how

innate

^ Compare the writer's The Father "Psyche Miniatures," 1927.

endowment in

Primitive

is

indis-

Psychology,


AND CULTURE

INSTINCT

Social forces alone could not

pensable to culture.

many

impose so

strong biological

215

duties on the male, nor without a

endowment could he carry them out

with such spontaneous emotional response.

The

cultural elements

which enter into the father-

to-child relationship are closely parallel to those

The

determine maternity.

in the mother's taboos, or, at least,

some others

side

by

prohibition which

welfare of the child

he has to maintain

A

side with her,

is is

with a pregnant wife.

which

father usually has a share

definitely

special type of

associated with the

the taboo on sexual intercourse

At

birth there are again duties

The most famous

for the father to perform.

of these is

the couvade, a custom in which the husband has to

take over the symptoms of post-natal the

business of

But though

wife

and

illness

goes about the ordinary

disability while

is

the most extreme

form of affirmation of paternity,

some analogous

life.

arrangement, by which the

this

man

shares in certain

post-natal burdens of his wife, or, at least, has to carry

on actions It is

not

scheme.

in

sympathy with

her, exist in all societies.

difficult to place this

type of custom in our

Even the apparently absurd

idea of the

couvade presents to us a deep meaning and a necessary function. If

it is

of high biological value for the

human

family to consist of both father and mother traditional customs

a

and

;

if

rules are there to establish

social situation of close

moral proximity between


SEX AND REPRESSION

2i6 father

and

child

;

if all

such customs aim at drawing

the man's attention to his offspring, then the couvade

man

which makes

simulate the birth-pangs and the

maternity

illness of

of great value

is

and

stimulus

necessary

expression

The couvade and

tendencies.

and provides the

all

for

paternal

the customs of

its

type serve to accentuate the principle of legitimacy, the child's need of a father.

In

we have again the two sides of the question. alone never determine human behaviour.

all this

Instincts

Rigid instincts which would prevent man's adaptation

new

to any

set of conditions are useless to the

The

species.

plasticity of instinctive tendencies is the

But the tendencies are

condition of cultural advance.

Although

there and cannot be developed arbitrarily.

the character of the maternal relation

by

culture

outside

bond between

all

father

emphasize the closeness of the

and

child,

mdke them dependent upon each note

that

anticipatory feelings,

determined

tradition, they all correspond to the natural

tendency, for they

to

is

although the obligations are imposed from

;

by

human

:

they

many

of

these

they isolate them and other. It social

is

important

relations

are

they prepare the father for his future dictate

to

him beforehand

certain

responses, which he will later develop.

Paternity

we have

seen cannot be regarded as a

merely social arrangement. place

man

Social elements simply

into a situation in which he can respond


INSTINCT

AND CULTURE

emotionally, and they dictate to

him a

series of actions

by which the paternal tendencies can as

paternity

find

their

Thus, while we find that maternity

expression. social

217

well is

as

biological,

we must

affirm

is

that

determined also by biological elements,

that therefore in

its

the maternal bond.

make-up In

all

it is

closely analogous to

this culture

emphasizes

rather than overrides the natural tendencies.

It

re-makes, with other elements, the family into the

same pattern to run riot.

as

we

find in nature.

Culture refuses


VI

THE PERSISTENCE OF FAMILY

nnHE

family

life

of

TIES IN

MAN

mammals always lasts beyond the and the higher the

birth of the offspring

species

the longer both parents have to look after their progeny.

The gradual ripening

of the child needs

more protracted

care and training on the part of both father and mother,

and these have to remain united

But

ones. life.

in

As soon

to look after the little

no animal species does the family

last for

as the children are independent they leave

the parents.

This

is

in

keeping with the essential

needs of the species, for any association, with corresponding unless

it

becomes

ties

burden to

a

has some specific function to

its

animals

fulfill.

With man, however, new elements

enter.

Apart

from the tender cares dictated by nature and endorsed

by custom and

tradition, there enters the element of

Not only

cultural education. instincts

into

is

there a need of training

development,

full

instruction in food-gathering

there

is

and

the

in

to animals.

Man

man

animal

movements,

also the necessity of developing a

cultural habits as indispensable to

skill

as

specific

number

of

as instincts are

has to teach his children manual

and knowledge

in arts

and

218

crafts

;

language and


AND CULTURE

INSTINCT

the traditions of moral culture

customs which make up In

all this

there

is

219

the manners and

;

social organization.

the need of special co-operation

between the two generations, the older which hands on

and the younger which takes over

tradition.

as the very

workshop

we see the family again

And

here

of cultural

development, for continuity of tradition, especially at the lowest levels of development,

condition of

human

culture

upon the organization to insist that with the

and

this continuity

of the family.

human

the most vital

is

It is

depends

important

family this function, the

maintenance of the continuity of tradition,

For man

important as the propagation of the race. could no more survive

if

he were deprived of culture

than culture could survive without the carry

it

on.

Newer psychology teaches

that the earliest steps of

as

is

human

human us,

race to

moreover,

training, those

happen within the family, are

of

an

which

educational

importance which has been completely overlooked by

But

earlier students.

enormous

at present,

if

it

the influence of the family

must have been even greater

at the beginnings of culture,

the only school of

is

man and

where

this institution

was

the education received was

simple but had to be given with a vigour of outline

and a strength

of imperative not necessary at higher

levels.

In this process of parental education by which the continuity of culture

is

maintained we see the most


SEX AND REPRESSION

220

human

important form of division of functions in society

:

that between giving the lead and taking

between cultural superiority and

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the

inferiority.

it,

Teaching

process of imparting technical information and

moral values

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;requires a special

Not only must the parent have an

form of co-operation. interest in instructing

the child, and the child an interest in being taught,

but a special emotional setting

is

There

also necessary.

must be reverence, submission, and confidence on the one hand, tenderness, feeling of authority, and desire to guide on the other. Training cannot be done without

some authority and

The truths

prestige.

revealed,

the examples given, the orders imposed will not reach their

aim or command obedience unless they are backed

up by those

specific attitudes of tender subordination

and loving authority which are sound parental relations to the attitudes are relation

most

difficult

characteristic of all

child.

These correlated

and most important

in the

Owing

to the

between the son and the

father.

vigour and initiative of the young and the conservative authority of the old male, there in the establishment of a

The mother,

is

a certain difficulty

permanent reverent

as the nearest guardian

affectionate helpmate, usually finds

no

and the most difficulties in

the earlier stages of relation to children. relation is

to

attitude.

In the

between son and mother, however, which,

continue harmonious, should

remain

if it

one of

submission, reverence, and subordination, there enter


AND CULTURE

INSTINCT

other disturbing elements at a later stage of

known from

these, already

book,

we

shall presently

221

To

life.

the previous parts of this

have once more to return.

The mature animal departs naturally from parents.

In

man

the need for more enduring bonds

The education

indisputable.

is

of the children, first of

binds them to the family for a long period beyond

all,

But even the end

their maturity.

of cultural education

The contacts

not the final signal for dissolution.

is

its

training

and

established

for

cultural

they

for

the establishment of further social

serve

last

longer,

organization.

Even

after a

grown-up individual has

and established a new household remains active.

In

all

left his

parents

his relation to

them

primitive societies, without

exception, the local community, the clan or the tribe, is

organized by a gradual extension of family

social nature tribal

groups

of secret is

societies,

ties.

The

totemic units and

invariably based on courtship ideas,

associated with local habitation

authority and rank, but with

by the

principle of

all this it is still definitely

linked with the original family bond.^ It is in this actual all

and empirical relationship between

wider social groupings on the one hand and the

family on the other that

we have

to register the

cannot document this point of view more extensively here. It be developed in a work on The Psychology of Kinship, in preparation for the International Library of Psychology. 1

will

I


SEX AND REPRESSION

222

fundamental importance of the

upon the pattern

ties

mother, to brother and

endurance of family pattern of

all

and psychologists are fuUy

of

Thus the

followers.

his

beyond maturity

ties

social organization,

we examined

is

the

and the condition

we reached

This conclusion

chapter, where

and

In this, again, anthro-

sister.

of co-operation in all economic, religious,

matters.

his social

on one side the fantastic theories

Morgan and some

of

up

all

of his relation to father

pologists, psycho-analysts

in agreement, putting

In primitive

latter.

societies the individual does build

and magical

in a previous

the alleged gregarious

and found that there is neither an instinct But if social nor a tendency towards " herding ". instinct

bonds cannot be reduced to pre-human gregariousness, they must have been derived from the development of the only relationship which his

animal ancestors

and

:

man

has taken over from

the relationship between husband

between parents and children, between

wife,

brothers and

sisters, in

short the relationship of the

undivided family. This being

so,

we

see that the endurance of family

bonds and the corresponding biological and cultural attitude

the of

indispensable not only

is

continuity of tradition cultural

have change

to

register in

the

what

but also

And

co-operation. is

instinctive

the sake of

for

in

for this

perhaps

endowment

the of

the sake fact

we

deepest

animal


AND CULTURE

INSTINCT and man,

human

for in

223

the extension

society

of

family bonds beyond maturity does not follow the

among

instinctive pattern to be found

We

animals.

can no longer speak of plastic innate tendencies,

for,

bonds extended beyond maturity do

since the family

Moreover

not exist in animals, they cannot be innate.

the utility and function of life-long family bonds are

conditioned by culture and not

we

Parallel to this,

by

biological needs.

see that in animals there

is

no

tendency to maintain the family beyond the stage In man, culture creates

of biological serviceability.

a

new need, the need to continue close relations between

parents and children for the whole

hand

this

need

;

on the other

endurance of bonds which

of life-long

form the pattern and starting-point for organization.

which

all

the one

conditioned by the transmission of

is

culture from one generation to another

by the need

On

life.

The family

kinship

is

is

social

all

the biological grouping to

invariably referred and which

determines by rules of descent and inheritance the social status of the offspring.

As can be

never becomes irrelevant to a

seen, this relation

man and

has constantly

to be kept alive.

Culture, then, creates a

human bond

which there

for

animal kingdom.

And

as

is

we

no prototype

beyond

endowment and natural precedent, man.

Two

it

of

in the

shall see, in this

creative act, where culture steps

serious dangers for

new type

very

instinctive

also

creates

powerful temptations.


224

SEX AND REPRESSION

the temptation of sex and that of rebeUion, arise at the very

moment

of cultural

Within the group which steps in

human

perils of

humanity

emancipation from nature.

is

responsible for the

progress there arise :

first

the two main

the tendency to incest and the

revolt against authority.


VII

THE PLASTICITY OF TXT'E

shall

HUIVIAN INSTINCTS

proceed presently to discuss at some

length the two perils of incest and revolt, but let

in

us rapidly survey the gist of the last few chapters

man and

which the family among

compared. of

first

We

behaviour

is

animals has been

found that in both the general course

Thus

paralleled in its external form.

there exists a circumscribed courtship, usually limited in time,

and defined

form both

in its

human com-

in

munities and in animal species. Again, selective mating leads to an exclusive matrimonial

monogamous marriage in

animal and in

man we

life

which the

of

Finally

a prevalent type.

is

found parenthood, implying

the same kind of cares and obligations.

In short, the

forms of behaviour and their functions are similar.

The preservation

of species

through selective mating,

conjugal exclusiveness, and parental care

aim

of

human

institutions

as

well

is

as

the main

animal

of

instinctive arrangements.

Side

by

side with similarities

we found conspicuous

in the

ends but in the means

by which the ends were reached.

The mechanism by

differences.

These were not

which the selection

of

mating

is

carried on,

matrimo-nial relations are maintained and 225

by which parental Q


SEX AND REPRESSION

226

cares established,

is

in the

animal entirely innate and

based on anatomical endowment, physiological change,

and

The whole

instinctive response.

for all animals of the species.

same pattern

mechanism

series

While there

is different.

tendency to court, to mate, and to care

and while this tendency animal,

it is

is

shows the In

man

the

exists a general for the offspring

as strong in

man

as in the

no longer clearly defined once and

for all

throughout the species. The landmark has disappeared

and has been replaced by cultural sexual impulse

is

limitations.

permanently active, there

is

The

no rut

nor any automatic disappearance of female attraction afterwards.

There

is

no natural paternity, and even

the maternal relations are not exclusively defined by innate responses.

Instead of the precise instinctive

determinants we have cultural elements which shape the innate tendencies. in

the relation

All this implies a deep change

between instinct and physiological

process and the modification of which they are capable.

This

change we have

instincts ".

termed the

" plasticity

The expression covers the

described above in detail.

They aU show

set

of

of facts

that in

man

the various physiological elements which release instinct

have disappeared, while

at the

same time there appears

a traditional training of the innate tendencies into cultural habit responses.

were analyzed concretely. forbid incest

These cultural mechanisms

They

and adultery

;

are the taboos which

they are the cultural


AND CULTURE

INSTINCT releases of the

and

ideal

mating

instinct

norms as well as the

they are the moral

;

practical inducements

which keep husband and wife together sanction of the marriage

tie

legal

;

As we know,

these

all

co-determinants closely follow the general

course imposed

however,

detail,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;the

the dictates which shape

and express parental tendencies. cultural

227

by nature on animal behaviour. the

concrete

forms

In

courtship,

of

matrimony and parenthood vary with the culture and the forces

by which they shape human behaviour

are no longer mere instincts but habits into which

man

The

has been educated by tradition.

social

sanction of law, the pressure of public opinion, the psychological sanction of religion

ments

and the

direct induce-

of reciprocity replace the automatic drives of

the instincts.

Thus culture does not lead man

any

into

Man

divergent from the courses of nature. to court his prospective

and to

yield to him.

mate and she

The two

still

still

direction still

has

has to choose

have to keep to one

another and be ready to receive the offspring and watch

over them.

The woman

still

has to bear and the

to remain with her as her guardian. to tend

and educate

their children,

Parents

still

man have

and under culture

they are as attached to them as under nature animals are to their offspring.

But

in all this

variety of patterns replaces in

an astounding

human

societies the

one fixed type imposed by instinctive endowment upon


SEX AND REPRESSION

228 all

the individuals of a single animal species.

response of instinct

is

replaced

by

Custom, law, moral rule, ritual, enter into

all

But the main

The

direct

traditional norms.

and

religious value

the stages of love-making and parenthood. line of their action invariably

to that of animal instincts.

The chain

runs parallel of responses

which regulate animal mating constitute a prototype of the gradual unfolding

attitude.

We

and ripening

of

must pass now to a more

man's cultural detailed

parison of the processes of animal instincts and sentiments.

com-

human


VIII

FROM INSTINCT TO SENTIMENT

TN

the last chapter

we summarized

of our comparison

between the constitution of the

human

animal and the

the salient points

Through the

family.

dis-

appearance of the definite physiological landmarks, through the increasing cultural control in

which at

first

disorder.

we can

adjustments simplified in

of

is

response, a variety

not really the case.

In the

see that the varying emotional

mating

one direction.

on their sexual side in

there

seems to introduce nothing but chaos and

This, however,

place

frst

human

complexity in the

arises a

man

human family are The human bonds culminate

in

the

in marriage,

on their parental side

a life-long enduring family.

In both cases the

emotions centre around one definite object, whether this

be the consort, the

child, or the parent.

Thus the

exclusive dominance of one individual appears as the first

characteristic in the

growth

of

human

emotional

attitudes.

As

a matter of fact

we ascend

in the

the higher species.

seed

is

we can

see this tendency even as

animal kingdom from the lower to

Among

the lower animals the male

often scattered broadcast and the fertilizing of 229


SEX AND REPRESSION

230

the female egg

The

is

left

entirely to physical agencies.

equation,

personal

selection

and

adjustment

develop gradually and attain their fullest development

among

the highest animals.

In man, however, this tendency enforced by definite institutions. is

by a number

defined

is

translated

and

Mating, for instance,

of sociological factors

some

of

which exclude a number of females, while others partners or stipulate definite

indicate

the

unions.

In certain forms of marriage the individual

bond

is

completely established by social elements,

such

as

suitable

infant

marriages.

betrothal

or

prearranged

socially

In any case, right through courtship,

matrimonial relations and the care of the children, the two individuals gradually establish an exclusive personal

tie.

A number of interests of economic, sexual,

and religious nature are for each partner dominated

legal

by the personality religious sanction of

a

of the other.

are

in

human

legal

marriage establishes, as

lifelong, socially enforceable

Thus

The

and the

we know,

bond between the two.

relations the emotional adjustments

dominated by one object rather than by the

situation of the

moment. Within the same

relationship

the emotions and the type of drives and interests

vary

:

they are usually one-sided and disconnected

at the beginning of the courtship, they gradually ripen

into a personal affection during that period, they are

immensely enriched and complicated by the common


INSTINCT life in

marriage, even

Yet throughout

AND CULTURE

more

so

by the

this variety of

the permanence of the object,

231

arrival of children.

emotional adjustments

its

deep hold on the other

indivi<;iuars life constantly increases.

The bond cannot

be broken easily and the resistances are usually both psychological and social. Divorce in savage and civilized

communities, for instance, or a rupture between parent

and child

is

both a personal tragedy and a sociological

mishap.

But though the emotions which enter into the human

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;though

they

family bond are constantly changing

depend upon circumstances instance, entailing love

and passionate

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;matrimonial

and sorrow as well as

inclinations

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

love,

for

joy, fear,

though they are always

complex and never exclusively dominated by an instinct,

yet they are

organized,

systems.

in

fact

by no means chaotic

they are arranged into definite

The general attitude

other, of a parent to a child

any way

accidental.

dispose of a

or dis-

number

of

and vice versa

Each type of

one consort to the is

not in

of relationship

must

emotional attitudes which

subserve certain sociological ends, and each attitude gradually grows up according to a definite scheme

through which the emotions are organized.

Thus

in

the relations between the two consorts the sentiment begins with the gradual awakening of sexual passion.

In culture,

moment.

this, as

we know, is never a merely instinctive

Various

factors,

such

as

self-interest.


SEX AND REPRESSION

232

economic attraction,

social

advancement, modify the

charm

man

or vice versa, in low levels

of

of a girl for a

culture

well

as

as

in

more highly developed

This interest once aroused, the passionate

civilizations.

up by the

attitude has to be gradually built

tradi-

customary course of courtship prevailing

tional,

a given

No

society.

sooner has this

in

attachment

been built up, than the decision to enter marriage introduces a

contract, establishes a

first

sociologically defined relationship.

a preparation for matrimonial legal

bond

ties

common

of

to note that the

life,

while in the

not

become reorganized.

predominant

It is

important

change from courtship to matrimony,

and

difficult

human

eliminated

effaced, entirely

still

and here the emotional

in all societies is the subject of

entails a definite

are

The

of marriage as a rule changes the relation-

attitudes have to

which

less

this period

takes place.

ship in which the sexual elements are

mto one

more or

Through

new

to be incorporated.

proverbs and jokes,

readjustment of attitudes

:

relationship the sexual elements

nor the memories of courtship interests

The new

and new emotions have attitudes are built

upon

the foundation of the old and personal tolerance and

patience in trying situations have to be formed at the expense of sexual

charms and of

and

the

attractiveness.

gratitude

for

earlier

life

have a

definite

form

an

integral

part

of

The

the erotic

initial

pleasure

psychological value

the

later

feelings.


AND CULTURE

INSTINXT

We

find

sentiments into

relation

the carrying over of previous memories

:

stages.

later of

We

shall

to

child

mother

presently analyze the

and

ripening and is

organizing the

always

associated

bond

desire

is

Between husband

indispensable, as well as an

of personal attractiveness

patibility of character.

and com-

The sentimental elements

courtship, the passionate feelings of

must be incorporated

attitude

emotional

associated with the bodily relation.

and wife sexual

son,

emotions takes place.

dominant

a

to

father

system of gradual

and show there that the same

There

human

important element of

an

this

in

233

first

of

possession

into the calmer affection, allow-

ing husband and wife to enjoy each other's

company

throughout the best part of their days. These elements

must

also be

harmonized with the community

and community

of interest

of

work

which unite the two into

the joint managers of the household.

It is

a well-known

fact that each transition between courtship and sexual

cohabitation, between that stage life

of

later

parental

fuller

matrimony, between married

life,

common life

and

constitutes a crisis full of difficulties,

dangers and maladjustments. at

and the

These are the points

which the attitude undergoes a special phase of

reorganization.

The mechanism which we is

see at

work

in this process

based on a reaction between innate drives,

emotions and social factors.

As we have

human

seen, the


SEX AND REPRESSION

234

organization of a society has economic, social, and religious ideals to impress

of

upon the sexual

men and women. These

rules

exogamy,

of

exclude certain mates by

caste

of

inclination

or

division,

mental

of

They surround others by a spurious halo

training.

of

economic attractiveness, of high rank, or superior social status.

In the relation between parents and

children

tradition

also

certain

dictates

which even anticipate the appearance to

The

which they pertain.

action of the sociological

when we

mechanisms

is

work

in the

growing mentality of the young.

tion,

especially

place

by the

and of

specially important

in simpler societies,

surrounding

ripening mind. of caste,

it

at

Educa-

does not take

moral

but rather by the influence

cultural

Thus the

environment

on

the

child learns the principles

rank or clan division by the concrete avoid-

ances, preferences

and submissions

into

being trained by practical measures. is

see

explicit inculcation of sociological,

intellectual principles,

the

attitudes

of the objects

A

which he

is

certain ideal

thus impressed upon the mind and by the time the

sexual interest

begins to

act

the

taboos and the

inducements, the forms of correct courtship, the ideals of desirable

matrimony are framed

in his

mind.

It is

imperative to realize that this moulding and gradual inculcation of ideals

is

not done by any mysterious

atmosphere, but by a number of well-defined, concrete influences.

If

we

cast

back to the previous ideas of


INSTINCT AND CULTURE this

book and follow the hfe

peasant Europe

or

savage

the child within the parental

by

the

rebuke

of

an individual

of

home by

parents,

the

in

we can

Melanesia

how

235

is

see

educated

the

public

opinion of the elder men, by the feeling of shame

and discomfort aroused by the reactions certain types of decent

of

his

them

to

Thus the categories

conduct.

and indecent are created, the avoidance

of forbidden relationships, the

certain other groups

toward the mother,

and brother. of such a

of

As a

encouragement towards

and the subtler tones

maternal uncle,

father,

final

of feeling sister

and most powerful framework

system of cultural values, we have to note

the material arrangements of habitation, settlement,

and household

Thus

chattels.

in

Melanesia

the

individual family house, the bachelors' quarters, the

arrangements of patrilocal marriage and of matrilineal rights are all associated,

on the one hand with the

structure of villages, houses, divisions,

and the nature of territorial

and on the other with

moral laws, and various shades of

we can

see that

man

injunctions, taboos, feeling.

From

this

gradually expresses his emotional

attitudes in legal, social,

and material arrangements

and that these again

upon

react

his

conduct by mould-

ing the development of his behaviour

Man

and outlook.

shapes his surroundings according to his cultural

attitudes,

and his secondary environment again produces

the typical cultural sentiments.


SEX AND REPRESSION

236

And will

important point which

this brings us to a very

allow us to see

become

plastic

why

in

humanity

had

instinct

and innate responses have to be

to

trans-

formed into attitudes or sentiments. Culture depends directly upon the degree to which the

human emotions can be

and

trained, adjusted,

organized into complex and plastic systems. ultimate efficiency culture gives

man mastery

In

its

over his

surroundings by the development of mechanical things,

weapons, means of transportation and measures for protection

however, can only be used

apparatus there

of using

to the material outfit

generation.

Now

if

side

is

sheer

reason

have

it.

The human adjustments

to be learned

anew by each

this learning, the tradition of

know-

of

knowledge from one generation

to another entails hardships, efforts

fund of patience and love the younger.

felt

and an inexhaustible

by the

This emotional

older generation outfit,

only partly based on the endowment, cultural actions

which

it

dominates are

again,

for

The continuity

of

social

tradition,

entails a personal emotional relation in

in

all

artificial,

and therefore not provided with innate

of responses

by

nor by mere instinctive endowment.

The transmission

specific,

These,

side with the

not a process which can be carried on

ledge,

for

by

transmitted the traditional

also

is

knowledge and art

and climate.

weather

against

is

the

non-

drives.

other words,

which a number

have to be trained and developed into


INSTINCT AND CULTURE complex

The extent

attitudes.

to

237

which parents can

be taxed with burdens of cultural education depends

upon the capacity tion to cultural

aspects culture

and is

human

of the

social responses.

directly dependent

But the

man

relation of

culture even in

;

its

the lengthening of the

is

upon the

one of

its

plasticity

from one individual to simplest forms

be handled except by co-operation.

beyond

in

to culture consists not only

in transmission of tradition

it

Thus

endowment.

of innate

another

character for adapta-

strict biological

cannot

As we have

seen,

within the family

ties

maturity which allows on the

one hand of cultural education and on the other of

work

in

common, that

is,

co-operation.

The animal

family of course has also a rudimentary division of functions, consisting mainly in the provision of food

by the male during later

on

father

certain stages of maternal care

in the protection

and mother.

Man

is

of

and nutrition afforded by

In animal species, however, both

the nutritive adjustment

scheme

and

to

environment

and the

economic division of functions are

rigid

allowed through culture to adapt himself to a

very wide range of economic environment and this

he controls, not by rigid for

developing

organization, of diet.

But

special

instincts,

but by the capacity

technique,

special

and adjusting himself to a side

by

economic

special

form

side with this merely technical

aspect there must also go an appropriate division of


SEX AND REPRESSION

238

function and a suitable type of co-operation.

This

obviously entails various emotional adjustments under

environmental

various duties of

The economic

conditions.

husband and wife

differ.

Thus

in

an

arctic

environment the main burden of providing food

man

on the

peoples the

;

among

woman

has the greater share of providing

With the economic

for the household.

division of

functions there are associated religious, legal distinctions

charm

The

of social prestige, the value of the consort as

nature, It is its

the ideal of moral or religious

these considerably colour the relationship.

all

variety and the possibility of adjusting such

relations as the conjugal one

aUow the family

and the parental one which

to adapt itself to varying conditions

of practical co-operation

and

adapted to the material

outfit

natural environment.

How

far

this latter to

of culture

our present argument.

I

in

is

beside the point

wish to emphasize here the

fact that only plastic social ties

emotion can function

become and the

we can trace concretely

these dependencies and correlations

of

and moral

which dovetail into economic work.

practical helpmate,

in

falls

the more primitive agricultural

and adjustable systems

an animal species which

is

capable of developing a secondary environment and

thus adjusting of

Through of

itself

to the difficult outer conditions

life.

human

all this

we can

family relations

see that although the basis is

instinctive, yet the

more


INSTINCT

AND CULTURE

239

they can be moulded by experience and by education, the

more

cultural

and traditional elements these

ties

can accept, the more suitable will they be for a varied

and complex

What

division of functions.

has been said here with reference to the family

But

refers obviously also to other social ties.

contrary to what

is

in these,

the case with the bonds of the

family, the instinctive element

is

almost negligible. The

great theoretical importance of marriage

and

of

the

family runs parallel with the great practical importance

Not only

of these institutions for humanity.

is

the

family the link between biological cohesion and social cohesion,

it

relations

are

on which

also the pattern

is

The

based.

anthropologists

further

can work out

all

wider

sociologists

and

the theory of senti-

ments, of their formation under cultural conditions and of their correlation with social organization, the nearer shall

we move towards a

understanding of

correct

Incidentally

primitive sociology.

I

exhaustive description of primitive family courtship

life,

primitive

customs and clan organization

out from sociology such words " consciousness

kind

of

",

as "

group

" group

an

think that

will

rule

instinct ",

mind

",

and

similar sociological verbal panaceas.

To those acquainted with modern psychology must have become of primitive

clear that in

sociology

important theory of

working out a theory

we had

human

it

to

reconstruct

an

emotions, developed by


SEX AND REPRESSION

240

one who unquestionably deserves to be ranked as one of the greatest psychologists of our time.

Shand was the tion of

first

human

feelings,

laws of emotional

only when in

we

Mr. A. F.

to point out that in the classifica-

life,

in

the construction of the

we can reach

realize that

an empty space, but are

tangible results

human emotions do not all

float

grouped around a number

Around these objects human emotions

of objects.

are organized into

definite

Furthermore,

systems.

Shand, in his book on The Foundations of Character,

down

has laid

a

number

of laws whicji govern the

He

organization of emotions into sentiments.

shown that the moral problems

of

human

has

character

can be solved only by a study of the organization of the emotions. In our present argument,

it

has been possible

to apply Shand's theory of sentiments to a sociological

problem, and to show that a correct analysis of the

change from animal to cultural responses vindicates his views to the full.

tinguish

The

salient points

which

human attachments from animal

dis-

instincts

are the dominance of the object over the situation

the organization of emotional attitudes of the building tion into to

up

of such attitudes

;

;

the continuity

and their crystalliza-

permanent adjustable systems. Our additions

Shand's theory consist only in showing

formation

of

sentiments

is

associated

how

with

the

social

organization and with the wielding of material culture

by man.


INSTINCT An

AND CULTURE

241

important point which Shand has brought out

study of

in his

human

sentiment

is

that the leading

emotions which enter into them are not independent of each other,

but that they show certain tendencies

towards exclusion and

which follows we

shall

have to elaborate on the two

typical relations between

hand and the

father

In the analysis

repression.

mother and child on the one

and child on the

other.

This will

also help to reveal the processes of gradual clearing off

and

of repression

by which

be eliminated from a sentiment as

And

here

we should

have to

certain elements

like to

it

develops.

add that Shand 's theory

of sentiments stands really in a very close relation to

psycho-analysis.

Both

of

emotional processes in the

Both is

of

them deal with the concrete life

history of the individual.

them have independently recognized that

it

only by the study of the actual configurations of

human feelings that we can arrive at satisfactory results. Had the founders of psycho-analysis known Shand's contribution, they might have avoided a

metaphysical of

human

pitfalls, realized

number

that instinct

is

of

a part

sentiments and not a metaphysical entity,

and given us a much

less

mystical and more concrete

psychology of the unconscious.

On

Freud has supplemented the theory

two capital

points.

He was

the

the other hand, of sentiments

first

on

to state clearly

that the family was the locus of sentiment formation.

He

also has

shown that

in the formation of senti-


SEX AND REPRESSION

242

ments the process

of elimination, of clearing

paramount importance and that

mechanism

of repression

The

dangers.

is

away,

is

of

in this process the

the source of conspicuous

by psycho-

forces of repression, assigned

analysts to the mysterious endo-psychic censor can,

however, be placed by the present analysis into a

more

definite

and concrete

setting.

The

repression are the forces of the sentiment

come from the

forces of

itself.

They

principle of consistency which every

sentiment requires in order to be useful in social behaviour. are

The negative emotions

incompatible with

the

submission

authority and the reverence guidance. relation of in

and

trust

and anger

to

parental cultural

in

Sensual elements cannot enter into the

mother and son

if

this relation is to

harmony with the natural

division

obtaining within the household.

we

of hate

pass in the following chapter.

To

remain

of functions

these

questions


IX

MOTHERHOOD AND THE TEMPTATIONS OF INCEST '

I

'HE

subject of the " origins " of incest prohibitions

is

one of the most discussed and vexed questions

of anthropology.

exogamy

or

with the problem of

It is associated

forms of marriage, with

primitive

of

hypotheses of former promiscuity and so on. There not the slightest doubt that exogamy the prohibition of incest, that

it is

is

is

correlated with

merely an extension

of this taboo, exactly as the institution of the clan with

terms of relationship

classificatory

its

extension of

the

family and

We

nomenclature.

its

is

mode

simply an of

kinship

shall not enter into this problem,

especially because in this

we

are in agreement with

such anthropologists as Westermarck and Lowie.^

To

clear the

ground

it

will

be well to remember that

biologists are in

agreement on the point that there

no detrimental

effect

incestuous unions. ^

is

produced upon the species by

Whether

incest in the state of

Compare Westermarck's History of Human

Marriage and arguments will be contributed by the present writer in the forthcoming book on ^

Lowie's

Primitive

Society.

Some

additional

Kinship. *

For a discussion of the biological nature of inbreeding, cf. and the Clash of Culture, 1927.

Pitt-Rivers, The Contact of Races

243


SEX AND REPRESSION

244

nature might be detrimental is

it

if

occurred regularly

In the state of nature the

an academic question.

young animals leave the parental group and mate

random with any females encountered

at

Incest at best can be but a sporadic

during rut.

In animal incest, then, there

occurrence.

harm nor obviously

logical

Moreover,

there

animals there

is

is

is

no bio-

is

there any moral harm.

no reason to suppose that

any

neither bio-

is

danger nor temptation and in consequence no

logical

instinctive barriers against incest, with

contrary,

we

man, on the

find in all societies that the strongest

and the most fundamental prohibition are

barrier

those against incest.

we

This

shall

try to explain,

by any hypotheses about a primitive

legislation

act

hold,

but as the result of

spring

up under

culture.

same house-

two phenomena which

In the

first place,

under the

mechanisms which constitute the human family temptations to incest

by

come

of

nor by any assumptions of special aversion

to sexual intercourse with inmates of the

side

in

special temptation.

While with the animal then there

not

at maturity

arise.

In the

second

serious place,

side with the sex temptations, specific perils

into being for the

human

family, due to the

existence of the incestuous tendencies. point, therefore,

we have

to agree with

On

the

first

Freud and

disagree with the well-known theory of Westermarck,

who assumes

innate disinclination to mate between


INSTINCT members

to incest

245

In assuming, how-

same household.

of the

a temptation

ever,

AND CULTURE

under culture, we do

not follow the psycho-analytic theory which regards the infantile attachment to the mother as essentially sexual.

This

is

perhaps the main thesis which Freud has

attempted to establish in his three contributions to

He

sexual theory.

between a smaU child and act of suckling,

prove that the relations

tries to its

mother, above

results that the first sexual

it

From

are essentially sexual.

towards the mother

normally an

" This fixation of libido," to

incestuous attachment.

use a psycho-analytic phrase, remains throughout

and

it is

tions

this

attachment of a male

in other words,

is,

the

all in

life,

the source of the constant incestuous tempta-

which have to be repressed and as such form one

of the

two components

This theory

it is

of the CEdipus complex.

impossible to adopt.

between an infant and

its

from a sexual attitude.

mother is Instincts

The

relation

essentially different

must be defined not

simply by introspective methods, not merely by analysis of the feeling tones such as pain all

by

their function.

definite innate

An

and pleasure, but above

instinct

is

a more or

less

mechanism by which the individual

responds to a specific situation by a definite form of

behaviour in satisfaction of definite organic wants.

The all

relation of the suckling to its

mother

induced by the desire for nutrition.

is first

of

The bodily


SEX AND REPRESSION

246

clinging of a child to its

mother again

bodily wants of warmth,

protection and guidance.

The its

child

own

which

is

not

to cope with the environment

fit

forces alone,

it

can act

is

and

as the only

of bodily attraction

its

by

medium through

the maternal organism

instinctively to the mother.

aim

satisfies

clings

it

In sexual relations the

and cUnging

is

that union

which leads to impregnation. Each of these two innate tendencies

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;the

mother-to-child behaviour

process of mating

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;cover

and the

a big range of preparatory

and consummatory actions which present certain

The

similarities.

line of division,

however,

is

clear,

because one set of acts, tendencies and feelings serves to complete the infant's unripe organism, to nourish, to protect

and warm

it

;

the other set of acts sub-

serves the union of sexual organs of a

new

We

and the production

individual.

cannot therefore accept the simple solution that

the temptation of incest

is

due to sexual relation between

The sensuous pleasure which is both relations is a component of every

the infant and mother.

common

to

successful instinctive behaviour.

The pleasure index

cannot serve to differentiate instincts, since general character of to

them

all.

It is

is

one element

is

a

But although we have

postulate different instincts

attitude yet there

it

for

each emotional

common

to

them both.

not merely that they are endowed with the general

pleasure tone of

all instincts,

but there

is

also a sensuous


AND CULTURE

INSTINCT pleasure derived from

The

bodily contact.

which a child

exercise of the drive

247

feels

active

towards

its

mother's organism consists in the permanent clinging to the mother's

body

contact, above

all

in the fullest possible epidermic

hps

in the contact of the child's

The analogy between the the sexual drive and the com-

with the mother's nipple. preparatory actions of

summatory able.

actions of the infantile impulse are remark-

The two

are to be distinguished mainly

by

their

function and by the essential difference between the

consummatory actions

What borrow has

is

in

each case.

the result of this partial similarity

from

psycho-analysis

now become

the

principle

generally accepted

that there are no experiences in later

not

stir

up

We can

?

psychology

in

life

which

which would

analogous memories from infancy. Again,

from Shand's theory

of sentiments

human

sentimental attitudes in organization

of

To

emotions.

we know

that the

Ufe entail a gradual

these

we found

it

continuity of emotional

necessary to add that the

memories and the gradual building of one attitude on the pattern of another form the main principle of sociological bonds. If

we apply

attitude

this

between

to

the formation of the sexual

lovers

we

can

see

that

the

bodily contact in sexual relations must have a very disturbing

retrospective

effect

between mother and son. The

upon

the

caresses of lovers

relation

employ


SEX AND REPRESSION

248

medium

not only the same

same

situation

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; embraces,

of personal approach

type of sensuous

;

not only the

the

cuddling,

maximum

but they entail also the same

When

feelings.

type of drive enters

memories

;

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;epidermis

it

therefore this

new

must invariably awaken the

But these

of earlier similar experiences.

memories are associated with a definite object which remains in the foreground of an individual's emotional

throughout

interests

the mother.

This object

life.

With regard

is

the person of

to this person the erotic

life

introduces disturbing memories which stand in direct contradiction to the attitude of reverence, submission

and cultural dependence which has already

in the

growing boy

completely repressed the early infantile

The new type

sentimental attachment. sensuality and the

new sexual

of

erotic

attitude blend disturb-

ingly with the memories of early

life

and threaten to

break up the organized system of emotions which has This attitude, for

been built up around the mother.

purposes of cultural education, has become less sensual,

social sentiments associated

centre of the household.

We

between the boy and

over and

how

to take place.

in practical matters,

with the mother as the

have seen already

previous chapters of this book relation

and

more and more coloured by mental and

moral dependence, by interest

by

less

how his

in the

at this stage the

mother

is

clouded

a reorganization of the sentiments has It is at this

time that strong resistances


INSTINCT arise felt

in

AND CULTURE

the individual's mind,

that

249 sensuality

all

towards the mother becomes repressed, and that

the subconscious temptation of incest arises from the

blending of early memories with

The

difference

between

new

experiences.

this explanation

and that

of

psycho-analysis consists in the fact that Freud assumes

a continuous persistence from infancy of the same In our argument

attitude towards the mother. to

show that there

early

and the

is

we

only a partial identity between the

later drives, that this identity is

essentially to the

try

mechanism

due

of sentiment formation

;

that this explains the non-existence of temptations

among animals and that the retrospective power of new sentiments in man is the cause of incestuous ;

temptations.

We

have now to ask why

man

dangerous to

although

this

it is

temptation

is

really

innocuous to animals.

We have seen that in man the development of emotions into organized sentiments

is

the very essence of social

bonds and of cultural progress. convincingly definite laws

proved, :

As Mr. Shand has

such systems are subject

they must be harmonious,

consistent with one another,

i.e.,

to

emotions

and the sentiments

so

organized that they will allow of co-operation, continuity

of

blending.

Now

within the

family the

sentiment between mother and child begins with the early sensuous attachment which binds the

two with

a deep innate interest. Later on, however, this attitude


SEX AND REPRESSION

250

has to change. The mother's function consists in educatguiding and

ing,

exercising

cultural

influence

and

As the son grows up he has

domestic authority.

to

respond to this by the attitude of submission and

During childhood, that

reverence.

is

during this

extremely long period in psychological reckoning which occurs after weaning and before maturity, emotions of reverence, dependence, respect, as well as strong attach-

ment must give the leading tone to his mother.

At that time

severing

of

tion,

all

The

father

and

physiological role

incest

The family

is

and not a

into

biological workshop.

child into

maturity

cultural

their

;

already over.

Any

would enter as a destructive element. of

the

mother with

sensual

or

would involve the disruption

temptations

her would have to be, as

all

erotic

of

the

Mating with

relationship so laboriously constructed.

mating must

be, preceded

courtship and a type of behaviour completely

incompatible reverence. is

is

into such a situation the inclination towards

approach

by

emancipa-

at this stage

and the mother are training the

independence

Now

also a process of

bodily contacts must proceed

and become completed. essentially a cultural

to the boy's relation

with

submission,

The mother, moreover,

married to another male.

Any

independence

and

not alone.

She

is

sensual temptation

would not only upset completely the son and mother but

also,

relation

indirectly,

between

that between


INSTINCT son

and

AND CULTURE Active

father.

251

would

rivalry

hostile

replace the harmonious relationship which

type

of

complete

dependence

mission to leadership.

psycho-analysts temptation,

we

that

If,

we

must

agree with the

be

a

universal

see that its dangers are not

psychological nor can they be explained

merely

by any such

hypotheses as that of Freud's primeval crime.

must be forbidden because, family and correct,

ment

its

incest

if

our analysis of the

incompatible

be

with the estabUshIn any type

of the first foundations of culture.

of civilization in

Incest

role in the formation of culture is

the

and thorough sub-

therefore,

incest

is

which custom, morals, and law would

allow incest, the family could not continue to exist.

At maturity we would witness the breaking up family, hence complete social chaos

and an impossi-

bility of continuing cultural tradition.

mean

of the

Incest would

the upsetting of age distinctions, the

mixing up

of generations, the disorganization of sentiments

a violent exchange of roles at a time is

when

the most important educational medium.

the family

No society

could exist under such conditions.

The

type of culture under which incest

excluded,

only

one consistent

with

the

is

and

alternative

existence

of

is

the

social

organization and culture.

Our type

of explanation agrees essentially

with the

view of Atkinson and Lang, which makes the prohibition of incest the primal law, although our argu-


SEX AND REPRESSION

252

ment

differs

Freud

in that

we cannot accept

differ in so far as

due to the

incest as

From Westermarck

innate behaviour of the infant.

we

We differ also from

from their hypothesis.

the aversion to incest does not

appear to us as the natural impulse, a simple tendency not to cohabit with persons living in the same house

from infancy, but rather as a complex scheme of cultural reactions.

We

have been able to deduce the necessity

of the incest taboo

from the change

endowment which must run organization and culture.

parallel

Incest, as a

instinctive

in

with

social

normal mode

behaviour, cannot exist in humanity, because

incompatible with family its

very foundations.

social

composition

instinct of sex

is

and would disorganize

The fundamental pattern

father,

aU

of

of

each

of

these

must be eliminated.

the most others.

The temptation

introduced by

sentiments

This instinct

to

incest,

by the

organized

for in all

human

necessity

of

It

is

attitudes.

societies

the most important and universal rules. the taboo of incest haunts

is

man

psycho-analysis has revealed to us.

has

therefore,

therefore, in a sense, the original sin of

must be atoned

the

the least compatible with

culture,

establishing -permanent

From

would be destroyed.

difficult to control,

been

of

bonds, the normal relation of the child to the

mother and the the

life

it

man.

This

by one

of

Even then

throughout

life,

as


X AUTHORITY AND REPRESSION

TN

previous

the

chapter

we have been mainly

interested in the relation between the

the son

;

and the

here son.

we

shall discuss that

all

On

the one hand, as results

that has been said above in Chap. IX, incest

between father and daughter

on the other, the

conflicts

is less

said about

important, while

between the mother and the

daughter are not so conspicuous.

refer

between the father

In this discussion the daughter recdves

but Uttle of our attention.

from

mother and

In any case what

is

mother and son and father and son can

with Uttle modification and on a

scale to the other set of

relations.

less

pronounced

The

cast of the

Freudian (Edipus tragedy, therefore, in which the son again figures in relation to both parents, pologically quite correct.

place Electra side

by

is

anthro-

Freud has refused even to

side with (Edipus,

and we have

to countersign this act of ostracism.

In discussing previously the relation between father

and son we have

definitely affirmed the instinctive

basis of this relationship.

The human family

of a male, as definitely as the animal family,

human

societies this biological

253

need

is

in

need

and

in all

is

expressed in the


SEX AND REPRESSION

254

principle of legitimacy which

demands a male

as the

guardian, protector, and regent of the family. It

would be

useless to speculate

upon the

role of the

animal father as a source of authority within the family.

It

seems unlikely that he should ever develop

into a t3a'ant, because as long as he to his children he

is

indispensable

presumably possesses a fund

When

tenderness and forbearance.

of natural

he ceases to be

useful to the offspring they leave him.

Under conditions however,

is

of culture the father's authority,

indispensable, because at the later stages,

when the parents and

purpose of cultural training, there

for the

for

children have to remain together

some authority to enforce order within the

is

need

family,

human

grouping.

Such grouping, based on cultural and not on

biological

as indeed within

any other form

needs, lacks perfect friction

of

and

some

instinctive

difficulties

of

adjustment, implies

and needs the

legal sanction

sort of force.

But though the father or some other male must become invested with authority role in the earlier periods in the earliest stages of is

is

at later stages, his

entirely different.

As

animal family, where the male

present to protect the pregnant and lactant femcde,

so also in the earlier stages of the

father

is

human

family the

a guard and a nurse rather than the male in

authority.

When

he shares the taboos of pregnancy

with his wife, and watches over her welfare at that


— AND CULTURE

INSTINCT

when he becomes confined during

time,

255 wife's

his

pregnancy, when he nurses the babies, his bodily force,

moral authority, his reUgious prerogative and his

his

legal

power do not come into play at

place,

as a

what he has

to do at those stages

duty and not as a prerogative.

intimate functions a

woman

—often

all.

man

In

In the

regarded

is

many

of those

has to play the part of a

somewhat undignified manner

in a

or he has to assist her in certain tasks. Yet at the

time he

is

first

same

often excluded and submitted to ridiculous

— sometimes even such —while his wife

and humiliating attitudes

regarded

by the community

performs

as

the important affairs of

In

life.

all this,

repeatedly emphasized, the father acts in willing

manner

;

he

is

usually very

we have meek and a as

happy

in

per-

forming his duties, interested in his wife's welfare,

and delighted with the small

The whole

series

correlated with

his

customs,

of

patterns imposed on the

infant.

man by

ideas

his culture

value to the family,

to behave like a loving, kind,

made

clearly

with his is

made

solicitous person,

he

because at this stage his protection, his love,

his tender emotions

guardian of his wife and

make him

into an efficient

children.

Thus here again

among human beings innate endowment among

the end of cultural behaviour is

social

to subordinate himself to his wife's organic

activities,

and

and

is

The father

utility to the species at that time.

is

and

the same as that of


SEX AND REPRESSION

256

animal species

this

:

end

to shape an attitude of

is

protective tenderness on the part of the male towards

pregnant mate and her offspring.

his

But under

conditions of culture the protective attitude has to last

much

longer

the young

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;while

placed upon the ness.

And

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;beyond

here

we

the animal and the

a

again,

initial

the biological maturity of

much

greater burden

is

instalment of emotional tender-

find the essential difference

human

between

family, for while the animal

family dissolves with the cessation of the biological

need for parental care, the After that

moment

on a process

human

family has to endure.

the family under culture has to start

of education in

which parental tenderness,

love and care are no longer sufficient. Cultural training is

not

merely the gradual development of innate

faculties.

Besides an instruction in arts and knowledge,

this training also implies the building

development of morality.

And

up

of sentimental

and customs, the

attitudes, the inculcation of laws

all

this implies

one

element which we have found already in the relation

between child and mother, the element

of

taboo,

repression, of negative imperatives. Education consists in the last instance in the building artificial

habit

responses,

of

up

the

of

complex and

organization

of

emotions into sentiments.

As we know,

this building

up takes place through

the various manifestations of public opinion and of

moral feeUng, by the constant influence of the moral


AND CULTURE

INSTINCT

pressure to which the growing child all it is

which

life

is

made up

and within which the its

ment

exposed.

Above

determined by the influence of that framework

of tribal

have

is

257

of material elements

grows up, to

child gradually

impulses moulded into a number of sentiThis process, however, requires a

patterns.

background

of effective personal authority,

and here

again the child comes to distinguish between the female side of social

who

life

and the male

side.

The women

look after him represent the nearer and more

familiar influence, domestic tenderness, the help, the rest

turn.

and the

solace to

which the child can always

The male aspect becomes gradually the

principle

of force, of distance, of pursuit of ambition

authority.

and

of

This distinction obviously develops only

after the earlier period of infancy, in which, as seen, the father

we have

and the mother play a similar

part.

Later on, though the mother, side by side with the father,

has to train and teach the child, she

still

continues the tradition of tenderness, while the father in

most cases has to supply at

a

least

minimum

of

authority within the family.

At a certain

age, however, there

comes the time at

which the male child becomes detached from the family and launches into the world.

where there are

In communities

initiation ceremonies this is

an elaborate and special

institution, in

order of law and morality

is

done by

which the new

expounded to the novice.


SEX AND REPRESSION

258

the existence of authority displayed, tribal conditions

taught and very often

hammered

into the

body by a

From

the socio-

system of privations and ordeals. logical

point of view, the initiations consist in the

weaning

boy from the domestic

of the

shelter

and sub-

mitting him to tribal authority. In cultures where there is

no

its

initiation the process is gradual

and

diffused,

The boy

elements are never absent.

is

but

gradually

allowed or encouraged to leave the house or to work himself loose

from the household influences, he

is

instructed in tribal tradition and submitted to male authority.

But the male authority the father.

works and what the

societies

of

not necessarily that of

In the earlier part of this book

how such submission in

is

it

of the

boy

means.

terminology

of

our

where the authority

shown

to paternal authority

We

reformulate

it

argument.

present is

it is

here

In

placed in the hands

the maternal uncle the father can remain the

domestic helpmate and friend of his sons. to son sentiment can develop simply

The

early infantile attitudes gradually

The

and

father

directly.

and continually

ripen with the interests of boyhood and maturity.

The father in later life plays a role not

entirely dissimilar

to that at the threshold of existence.

Authority, tribal

ambition, repressive elements and coercive measures are

associated

with

round the person

another

of the

sentiment,

centring

maternal uncle and building


AND CULTURE

INSTINCT up along

259

In the light of the

entirely different lines.

psychology of sentiment formation, and here refer to Shand's account,

it

is

I

must

obvious that such a

growth of two sentiments, each simply and internally

would

harmonious, building

up

Under

be

infinitely

of the paternal relation

than

easier

the

under father-right.

father-right the paternal role

associated

is

with two elements each of which creates considerable difficulty in the building

this

mode

up

of the sentiment.

Where

of reckoning of descent is associated with

some pronounced form

of patria potestas the father has

to adopt the position of the final arbiter in force authority.

He

has gradually

to cast off

and

the role of

tender and protective friend, and to adopt the position of strict judge,

and hard executor

This change

of law.

involves the incorporation within the sentiment of attitudes which are as diametrically opposed to one

another as the attitude of sensuous desire and reverence within the maternal sentiment.

There

perhaps, to develop this point, to show it

is

to link

up

is

no need,

how

difficult

confidence with repressive powers,

tenderness with authority, and friendship with rule, for

on

all

we have dwelt exhaustively in the the book. There also we have spoken

these

earher parts of

of the other aspect father-right,

which

is

always associated with

even where this does not imply a definite

paternal authority, for the father has always to be dispossessed

and replaced by the

son.

Even though


SEX AND REPRESSION

26o his

powers might be Hmited he

is

yet the principal

male of the older generation, represents law, duties and repressive taboos. for morality,

and

also the building

He

tribal

stands for coercion,

Here

for the limiting social forces.

up

of the relationship

upon the

initial

foundation of tenderness and effective response into

an attitude of repression Here,

however,

it

not easy.

is

All this

important

is

knowledge into our present argument

ment

of the

human

is

closed

:

place

this

in the develop-

family the relation of father to

offspring, instead of being

which

to

we know.

based on an innate response

by the departure

of the

mature

child,

has to be developed into a sentiment. The foundations of the sentiment lie in

the biologically conditioned

tenderness of paternal responses, but upon these foundations a relation of exacting, stem, coercive repression

has to be built up.

The

father has to coerce, he has to

represent the source of repressive forces, he becomes the

lawgiver within the family and the enforcing agent of Patria potestas converts

the tribal rules.

him from a

tender and loving guardian of infancy into a powerful

and often dreaded autocrat.

The

constitution of the

sentiment into which such contradictory emotions enter must therefore he difficult. this contradictory

indispensable for

And

yet

it

is

just

combination of elements which

human

culture.

For the father

the earlier stages the biologically indispensable of the family, his function

is

is

is

at

member

to protect the offspring.


AND CULTURE

INSTINCT

This natural endowment of tenderness

is

261

the capital

upon which the family can draw in order to keep interested

has to

and attached to

make

it.

But

here, again, culture

use of this emotional attitude, in imposing

functions of an entirely different type

within

grow up, education, cohesion

the sons,

the

upon him as the

For as the children,

eldest male within the family.

especially

him

and

family,

demand

co-operation

the

existence of a personal authority which stands for the

enforcement of order within the family and for the

The

conformation to tribal law outside. position of the father

is,

as

we can

see,

difficult

not the result

merely of male jealousy, of the ill-tempers of an older

man and

of his sexual envy, as

most psycho-analytic writings essential character of the

undertake two tasks of the species

and

it

:

it

seems to be implied in ;

human

it

deep and

family which has to

has to carry on propagation

has to insure the continuity of

culture.

The paternal sentiment with

the

protective, the other coercive,

first

a

is

its is

two phases, the inevit-

able correlate of the dual function in the family.

complex,

the

ambivalent tenderness

between son and growth is

human

The essential attitudes within the (Edipus founded

in the

from nature into culture.

There

father, are directly

of the family

and repulsion

no need for an ad hoc hypothesis in order to explain

these features.

We

can see them emerging from the

very constitution of the

human

family.


SEX AND REPRESSION

262

There

is

only one

way

of

avoiding the dangers

which surround the paternal relation and associate the typical elements

this is to

which enter into the

paternal relation with two different people. This configuration which

we

find under mother-right.

is

the


XI

FATHER-RIGHT AND MOTHER-RIGHT

TT TE

are

now

in a position to

approach the vexed

problem of paternal and maternal descent, it is

more

or,

as

crisply but less precisely called, father-right

and mother-right; Once

we

explicitly

state

that

the

expressions

" mother-right " and " father-right " do not imply the existence of authority or power,

we can

them

use

without danger as being more elegant than matriliny

and patrihny,

The questions principles are:

what

to which terms they

are equivalent

usually asked with regard to these two

which of them

is

more "primitive",

are the " origins " of either, were there definite

" stages " of matriliny

Most theories

and patrihny

of matriliny

?

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;and

so on.

aimed at associating

this

institution with the early existence of promiscuity,

the resulting uncertainty of fatherhood and thus with the need of counting kinship through females. ^ variations

on the

many volumes on

theme pater semper

incertus

The fill

primitive morality, kinship, and

mother-right. ^

See

e.g.

E. S. Hartland, Primitive Society, 1921, pp. 2, 32, and

passim.

263


SEX AND REPRESSION

264

As often happens, the

criticism

which has to be

most theories and hypotheses must

directed against

and the formula-

start with a definition of the concept

tion of the problem.

Most theories imply that father-

and mother-right are mutually exclusive

right

alter-

Most hypotheses place one of these alternatives

natives.

at the beginning, the other at a later stage of culture.

Mr.

Hartland, for instance, one of the greatest

S.

speaks of society "

" the {op.

p.

cit.,

runs

throughout In

a self-contained

controlling

which

social

aspects

all

this writer

of

it

work

The task is

" that the earliest ascertainable systematic

and that

patrilineal reckoning

"

ment

(p.

10).

is

through the is

this

embracing and

has put before himself

kinship

of

organization.

human

This

".

see mother-right

system,

deriving

are

kinship

mother

the

we

under

that

affirms

the

sociology,

foundation of

sole

and therefore

eminent anthropologist. as

and

2)

through

exclusively

conception

primitive

mother as the

mother-right " descent traced

on

authorities

anthropological

to prove

method

woman

of

only,

a subsequent develop-

Remarkably enough, however,

through Mr. Hartland's work, in which he

right

tries

to

prove the priority of matrilineal over patrilineal descent,

we encounter

invariably

one

statement

always a mixture of mother-right and

:

there

father-right.

is

In

a summarizing statement indeed, Mr. Hartland says that

:

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; " Patriarchal

rule

and

patrilineal kinship

have


AND CULTURE

INSTINCT made world in

perpetual inroads upon mother-right ;

all

stages of transition to a state of society in

which the fMher "

over the

consequently matrilineal institutions are found

almost

ment

all

265

(p.

is

the centre of kinship and govern-

As a matter

34).

of

fact,

the correct

we

statement would be that in

all

parts of the world

find maternal kinship side

by

side with institutions

and we

of paternal authority,

find the

two modes

of

linking descent inextricably mingled.

The question

whether

arises

is

it

at aU necessary origins "

and

" successive stages " in the counting of descent

and

to invent

any

hypotheses about "

first

then to have to maintain that from the lowest to the highest types of society humanity lives in a transitional state.

It

seems that the empirical conclusion would

rather be that motherhood and fatherhood are never

found independent of each other. inquiry indicated

by the

facts

would be

ask the question whether there matriliny

independent

of

The

is

paternal

logical line of first

of all to

such a thing as reckoning

and

whether perhaps the two types of counting descent are not

complementary to each other rather than

antithetic. E. B. Tylor

and W. H. R. Rivers had already

seen this line of approach and Rivers, for instance, splits

up mother-right and

father-right into three in-

dependent principles of counting

and

succession.

The

:

descent, inheritance

best treatment of the subject,

however, we owe to Dr. Lowie,

who has brought

order


SEX AND REPRESSION

266

problem and has also introduced the very

into the efficient

terminology of

The organization principle.

bilateral

of the family

The organization

and

placed on the bilateral

is

of a clan

shows that, since the family

both

associated with

a universal unit and since

is

universally counted equally far on

are

sides, it is

is

Lowie ^ very clearly

the unilateral kinship reckoning.

genealogies

unilateral kinship.

nothing short of preposterous to speak

about the purely matrilineal or patrilineal society. This position is entirely unassailable. Equally importan t is

He

Lowie's theory of the clan.

has shown that in a

society where in certain respects the one side of kinship is

emphasized there will

arise

groups of extended kindred

corresponding to one or other of the sib or clan organizations of mankind. will

It

be well perhaps

to

supplement

Lowie's

argument and to explain why unilateral emphasis has to be placed on the counting of certain relations, in

what respects

this is done,

human

and what are

the mechanisms of unilateral kinship reckoning.

We

have seen that

child, kinship

very

is

the

of

the

binding starting

which the

vitally essential

has to be counted on both

institution

both parents, tie,

in all the matters in

and the mother are

father

family,

the point

child of

sides.

involving

with

to

a

bilateral

the

The

always two-fold kinship

^ R. H. Lowie, Primitive Society, chapters on the " Family ", " Kinship ", and the " Sib ".


AND CULTURE

INSTINCT reckoning.

If

we

moment between

distinguish for a

the sociological reality of native

can see that kinship

is

and the doctrines

life

by the

of kinship reckoning entered into

267

counted on both sides at the

earhest stages of the individual's

Even

life.

As

roles are neither identical nor symmetrical.

advances, the

an

relation

sociological

perative â&#x20AC;&#x201D;^which, its

own

in

counting

other

words,

doctrine of kinship.

of education, as

we have

life

between the child and his

make

changes and conditions arise which

explicit

frame

there,

though both parents are relevant, their

however,

parents

we

natives,

im-

kinship

of

society

force

The

to

latter stages

seen, consist in the

handing

over of material possessions and of the tradition of

They

knowledge and art associated with them.

consist also in the teaching of social attitudes, obliga-

tions

with

and prerogatives, which are associated

succession to dignity and rank.

The transmission

of

material goods, moral values, and personal prerogatives

has two sides

it

;

is

a burden on the parent

who

always has to teach, to exert himself, to work patiently

upon the novice

;

side of valuables,

Thus,

for

culture

it is

also a surrender

possessions

both reasons, the

on the parents'

and exclusive lineal

rights.

transmission of

from one generation to another has to be

based upon a strong emotional foundation.

It

must

take place between individuals united by strong senti-

ments

of love

and

affection.

As we know,

society can


SEX AND REPRESSION

268

for such sentiments

draw upon only one source biological

endowment

of parental tendencies.

transmission of culture in

all

these aspects

is

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the

Hence,

invariably

associated with the biological relation of parent to child, it

always takes place within the family.

not enough, however. of

There are

still

This

is

the possibilities

paternal transmission, maternal transmission, or

else

transmission in both

a process which in

This latter can be shown

lines.

to be the least satisfactory itself

it

:

is

would introduce into

surrounded with

perils,

complications, and psychological dangers, an element of ambiguity

and confusion.

The individual would

always have the choice of belonging to two groups could always claim possessions from two sources

;

;

he he

would always have two alternatives and a double status. Reciprocally, a

and

man

could always leave his position

his social identity to

one of two claimants.

This

type of society would introduce a perpetual source of strife, of difficulty, of conflict,

at first sight,

it

and as must be

would create an intolerable

clear

situation.

we find our conclusion fully confirmed that in no human society are descent, succession and inheritance left undetermined. Even in such comIndeed,

munities as those of Polynesia, where an individual

can follow his maternal or paternal he must make his choice early kinship

is

in

line alternatively,

life.

not an accidental principle.

Thus It

unilateral

cannot be

" explained " as due to ideas of paternity, or to this


AND CULTURE

INSTINCT or

feature

that

organization.

the

onl}'^

with the problems of

and

dignities,

psychology or social

primitive

of

It is

way

possible

transmission

of

of

deahng

possessions,

As we

privileges.

social

269

shall

see,

however, this does not preclude a number of complications,

There

reactions.

right

phenomena

supplementary

and

is

still

and

secondary

the choice between mother-

father-right.

Let us have a closer look at the working of the principle of maternal

and paternal kinship. As we know,

the organization of emotions within the sentiment is

closely correlated with the organization of society.

we

In the formation of the maternal sentiment, as followed as

it

in detail in the first part of the

we summarized

it

in

one of the

book and

last chapters,

we

are

not able to see any deep disturbance by the change

from the early tenderness to the exercise of authority.

Under mother-right

it

is

not the mother

coercive powers but her brother,

who

wields

and succession does

not introduce any antagonisms and jealousies between the mother and her son, for here again he inherits

only from her brother.

At the same time the bond

of

personal affection and tenderness between the mother

and the

child

influences

to

is,

the

in spite of all cultural

contrary,

the father and the child.

stronger

Nor

is

social

there any reason to

deny that the obvious physical nature

may have

and

than between

of

motherhood

greatly contributed towards the emphasis


SEX AND REPRESSION

270

between offspring and mother.

of the bodily identity

Thus, while in the maternal

the ideas about pro-

tie

creation, the tender feelings of infancy, the stronger

emotional

ties

between mother and child would lead to

a more powerful sentiment, this sentiment

is

in

no way

disturbed by the burden of legal and economic trans-

mission which

it

entails.

In other words, under mother-

right the social decree that the son has to inherit

way

the mother's brother in no to the mother

and on the whole

that this relation

is

from

spoils the relation

expresses the fact

it

empirically

more obvious and

we have

seen in the detailed

emotionally stronger. As

discussion of the institutions of one matrilineal society,

the mother's brother, social ideals

who

represents stern authority,

and ambitions,

is

a distance outside the family

very suitably kept at

circle.

Father-right, on the other hand, entails, as

we have

seen in detail in the last chapter, a definite break within

the formation of the sentiment.

In the patrilineal

society the father has to incorporate in himself the aspects, that of tender friend

and

rigid

two

guardian of law

This creates both a disharmony within the sentiment,

and

social difficulties within the family

co-operation and

by

creating jealousies

by disturbing and

rivalries

at its very heart.

One more

point

may

be mentioned.

Even more

in

primitive communities than in civilized societies, kinship

dominates the regulation of sexual attitudes.


AND CULTURE

INSTINCT The extension in

many

of kinship

beyond the family implies

exogamy

societies the formation of

side with the formation of clans.

course within

by

in a simple

is

into the prohibition of sexual inter-

the

the

therefore,

side

Under mother-right,

the prohibition of incest within the family

manner extended

271

clan.

building

attitude towards

all

In

up

a of

women

matrilineal

general

the

of the

society,

sexual

community

continuously harmonious and simple process.

is

a

In a

patriarchal society, on the other hand, the rules of incest

which apply to the members of the family are

not simply extended to the clan but a ideas of the sexually

licit

and

new scheme

of

has to be built up.

illicit

Patrilineal exogamj'^ does not include the one person

with

whom

incest should be

the mother.

In

most rigorously avoided,

we see a series

of reasons

that

is

why

mother-right might be considered a more useful

principle

The

of

all this

than

organization

social

utility is obviously associated

human

father-right.

with that level of

paramount

organization where kinship plays a

sociological part in its

narrower as well

as in its

classificatory form. It is clearly

important to realize that father-right

also presents considerable advantages.

right there

child

is

Under mother-

always a double authority over the

and the family

itself is cleft.

complex cross-system

There develops that

of relationship

societies increases the

which

in primitive

strength of social texture but


SEX AND REPRESSION

272

which

in higher societies

of clan

and

would introduce innumerable

As culture advances,

complications.

as the institutions

classificatory kinship disappear,

organization of the local

become

state has to

right naturally

community

as the

of tribe, city,

and

simpler, the principle of father-

But

becomes dominant.

this brings

us out of our special line of inquiry.

To sum up, we have of mother-right

and that to

occurrence.

father-right

well balanced

are

would probably be impossible

it

either

and

seen that the relative advantages

of

them a general

The advantage

priority

or

to

assign

a

wider

of the unilateral as against

the bilateral principle of kinship counting in legal,

economic and

doubt and

social matters,

however,

is

beyond any

cavil.

The most important point

is

to realize that neither

mother-right nor father-right can ever be an exclusive rule of counting kinship or descent.

It is

only in the

transmission of tangible values of a material, moral or social nature that

one of the two principles becomes

legally emphasized.

As

I

have

tried to

show on other

occasions,^ such a legal emphasis brings with

it

certain

customary traditional reactions which tend to a certain extent to obliterate

its

one-sided working.

Returning once more to our starting-point, that of the criticism expressed ^

by Dr. Jones on the conclusions

Crime and Custom in Savage

of 6th February, 1926

;

and

Society, 1926

article of

;

Nature, supplement

15th August. 1925.


[NSTINCT

AND CULTURE

reached in the previous parts of the book,

273

can now

it

be seen that the appearance of mother-right

mysterious phenomenon brought about by social

and economic reasons

of the

two alternatives

".

right are perhaps

father-right.

is

not a

unknown

Mother-right

of counting

which shows certain advantages.

"

is

one

kinship, both of

Those

of

mother-

on the whole greater than those of

And among them unquestionably we

have to mention the central point which has been brought out

in this

chapter

:

the value which

it

has

in eliminating the strong repressions in the paternal

sentiment and in placing the mother in a more consistent

and better adapted

position within the

of sexual prohibitions in the

community.

scheme


XII

CULTURE AND THE "COMPLEX" T T 7E have now change

covered the

in instinctive

field of

our subject

endowment

our

We

results.

We

started with psycho-analytic views on

came upon a number elements

;

can briefly

and summarize

the origins and history of the complex.

The concept

the

correlated with

the transition from nature to culture. indicate the course of our argument

:

of obscurities

the

of

and

In this

we

inconsistencies.

repression of already repressed

the theory that ignorance and matriliny were

devised as

means

father-right

the family

is ;

a

of deflecting hatred

happy

were

all

solution of

difficult

to

the idea that

;

most

difficulties in

reconcile with

the

general doctrine of psycho-analysis as well as with

fundamental anthropological facts and

was found also that

all

principles.

from the view that the CEdipus complex cause of culture, that

it is

is

the primal

something which preceded

and produced most human beliefs.

It

these inconsistencies result

institutions,

ideas,

and

In attempting to find in what concrete form

this primordial CEdipus

complex has originated accord-

ing to psycho-analytic theory,

we came upon Freud's

hypothesis of the " primeval crime 274

".

Freud regards


AND CULTURE

INSTINCT

275

culture as a spontaneously generated reaction to the

crime and he assumes that the

memory

of the crime,

the repentance and the ambivalent attitude have

survived in a

Our

utter

'

Collective Unconscious

incapacity

forced us to examine

it

accept

to

more

'.

this

hypothesis

We

found that

closely.

the totemic crime must be imagined as a dividing

event between nature and culture

Without

beginning.

cultural

as the

moment

of

assumption the

this

With

hypothesis has no meaning. falls to pieces

;

the hypothesis

it

because of the inconsistencies involved.

Having found that

in

Freud's hypothesis as in

all

other speculations on the early form of the family,

the capital mistake

is

made

of ignoring the difference

between instinct and habit, between the biologically defined

became our task ties

and

reaction

the

cultural

adjustment,

it

to study the transformation of family

due to the passage from nature to

culture.

We attempted to ascertain the essential modification innate

in

endowment and

consequences of of this

we

it

to

naturally

human

to

show what were the

mentality.

In the course

came upon the most important

psycho-analytic problems, and

we were

able to offer a

theory of the natural formation of the family complex.

We

found the complex as an inevitable by-product of

culture,

which

arises as the family develops

group bound by instincts into one which

by

cultural ties.

is

from a

connected

Psychologically speaking, this change


SEX AND REPRESSION

276

means that a cohesion by a chain

of

Unked drives

is

transformed into a system of organized sentiments.

The

up

building

of

sentiments obeys a number of

psychological laws which guide the mental ripening so as to eliminate a

of attitudes, adjustments,

from a given sentiment. The mechanism

and

instincts

of

we found in

it

number

the influence of the social environment,

working through the cultural framework and through direct personal contacts.

The

process of elimination

and impulses from the child

of

relation

certain

attitudes

between father and

and mother and child present a considerable

range of

The systematic organization

possibilities.

may

impulses and emotions

drawing

off

and waning from certain

dramatic shocks, by organized monials,

by

mechanisms we

by

attitudes,

ideals, as in the cere-

and public opinion.

ridicule,

of

be carried out by a gradual

find, for instance,

By

such

that sensuality

gradually eliminated from the child's relation to

is

its

mother, while often tenderness between father and child

is

way

in

replaced

by a

stern

and coercive

relation.

The

which these mechanisms operate does not

lead to exactly the

same

results.

ments within the mind and back to the

And many

in society

faulty cultural

maladjust-

can be traced

mechanism by which

sexuality

is

suppressed and regulated or by which

authority

is

imposed.

great detail in a small

we have presented with number of concrete cases in

This


AND CULTURE

INSTINCT the

first

277

This again has been

two parts of the book.

theoretically justified in this last part.

Thus the building up

of the sentiments, the conflicts

and maladjustments which

this impHes,

depend largely

mechanism which works in a given

upon the

sociological

society.

The main aspects

of this

mechanism are the

regulation of infantile sexuality,

the incest taboos,

the apportionment of authority and the

exogamy,

In this perhaps

type of household organization.

lies

We have

the main contribution of the present memoir.

been able to indicate the relation between biological,

and

psychological

sociological

We

factors.

have

developed a theory of the plasticity of instincts under

and

culture

of

transformation

the

response into cultural adjustment.

our theory

logical side

instinctive

of

On

its

psycho-

approach

suggests a line of

which, while giving fuU due to the influence of social factors,

mind

does

away with the hypotheses

the

" collective

",

instinct ",

In

all

we

are constantly dealing with the central

of psj^cho-analysis, the

problems of

of paternal authority, of the sexual taboo

ripening of the instinct.

analysts on

several

points,

of serious revision

question

of

the

incest,

and

of the

In fact the results of

argument confirm the general teachings

need

"group

of

" gregarious

and similar metaphysical conceptions.

this

problems

unconscious

",

of

my

psycho-

though they imply

the

on others. Even on the concrete

influence

of

mother-right

and

its


SEX AND REPRESSION

278

have pubHshed previously

function, the results which I

and

book are not

the conclusions of this

entirely sub-

versive of psycho-analytic doctrine. Mother-right, as has

been remarked, possesses an additional advantage over father-right in that

" splits the (Edipus complex ",

it

dividing the authority between two males, while on

the other hand

introduces a consistent scheme of

it

incest prohibition in

which exogamy follows directly

We

from the sexual taboo within the household. to

recognize,

however,

altogether dependent

that

mother-right

not

is

upon the complex, that

had

it

is

a

wider phenomenon determined by a variety of causes.

These

I

have tried to state concretely

Dr. Jones's objection that for

unknown

sociological

I

assume

this

appearance

and economic reasons.

tried to

show that mother-right can be made

as the

more

The

reckoning kinship.

mode

real point, as

cultural level the maternal line

shows

I

the " complex

should

complex

all,

to

distinct

its

as

that

advantage

power to modify

".

add that from the point

psycho-analytic theory

the

is

adopted

Among these signal characteristic

advantages of mother-right we find split

we saw,

of

but that among peoples of low

in almost all cultures

and

intelligible

of counting relationship is

over the paternal one.

have

I

two alternative forms

useful of the

the unilateral

meet

in order to

such

it

is

difficult to

should

a psycho-analyst,

the

of

explain

be harmful. (Edipus

view of

why After

complex

is


AND CULTURE

INSTINCT the

fons

rehgion,

law,

any need

means is

to

of

remove

to break

it

up

To

?

"

Why should Why should have

us,

of

there be

humanity

" devised "

any

however, the complex

not a cause but a by-product, not a creative principle

but a maladjustment. a

it ?

mind

beginning

the

culture,

and morality.

" collective

the

or

origo

et

279

This maladjustment assumes

harmful form under mother-right than under

less

father-right.

These conclusions were

first set

forth in

two

articles

which appeared separately a few years ago and are now reprinted as Part

One and Two

Here

of this volume.

again in dealing with the general problem,

we have

found certain confirmations of psycho-analytic theory, if

this

be taken as an inspiration and a working

hypothesis and not as a system of dogmatic tenets. research consists in collaboration,

Scientific

give

and take

between various

in

a

The

specialists.

anthropologist has received some help from the psychoanalytic school and

it

would be a great pity

if

exponents of this latter refused to collaborate, accept what after

all,

science line.

is

offered in

good

faith

where,

never a matter of simple progress in a direct

is

new domain,

pegged out on which the barren

school

field

to

they cannot be at home. The advancement of

In the conquest of a

return.

from a

the

It

to

is

claims are often

soil will

never yield a

as important for a student or for a

be able to withdraw from an untenable


SEX AND REPRESSION

28o

position as to pioneer ahead into

And, after scientific

all,

it

new fields

of discovery.

should ever be remembered that in

prospecting the few grains of golden truth

can only be

won by

rejection of a

mass

the patient washing out and

of useless pebbles

and sand.


——

— —

INDEX Adolescence

Adoption

:

134 123. structure,

17 rare in Trobriands, :

21 maternal, 18, 26, Affection 207-8, 269 paternal, 31-2, ;

Ambivalence

79, 80, 154, 261 of savages, 138 neurotic, Amphlett Islanders :

;

:

86-88

perversions, 90

;

Anal-eroticism

Animal

life

35

:

n., 39, 51,

54

Atkinson, J. J. 149, 251 Authority in family v. Father, Mother's brother :

:

Babyhood Birth:

16. 18

:

18-19,

trauma Boas. F.

209. 215;

207,

22 dream 157 n.

of.

:

;

of,

:

:

'

'

:

;

148-151,159.

:

193 n,

and indecent ', 33-6, 38-9, 77, 235 D'Entrecasteaux Islanders 87. '

Decent

'

'

:

90. 115

n.

people's

Descent

Father-right.

v.

Mother -right. Family. Kinship Dewey, J. 157 n.

45

:

mythical origin in Trobriands, 115 Childhood Pt. i, ch. vi and vii periods of, 15-17 v. also :

:

;

Games, Sexuality, etc. Children's communities 55-6 Clan

:

45-8, 271,

Exogamy Co-habitation lations

:

212— v.

41,

Discipline absence briands, 27, 41

Divorce

:

Dream

also

Tro-

in

231

Dokonikan

Tudava

v.

fantasies

:

91

;

at

puberty, 63, 80 Dreams 92-7, 144 of death, 101 and magic, 125 V. also Kirisala Durkheim. E. 157 n.

:

;

;

:

v.

Sexual

re-

Economics of marriage 238 Education in family: 218-21, 234-5. 256, 267-8 Electra complex 65. 252 :

Complex of family, 2, 183 and myth, 5, Pt. ii. ch. :

and

;

:

Cannibalism

158;

:

Darwin. Charles

:

:

;

275-9—u.

;

33 (young

house) 67 Butura (fame)

279

173-8,

95

murder of, 101-2; —in myth, 114-15, 119-20; relations between brothers,

Bukumatula

social

143,

also Nuclear complex. Qidipus complex. Repression Co-operation: 219-20,237-8 Courtship in animals, 193 in man. 196-7, 225, 227 Couvade 215-16 Crawley. E. 157 n.. 194 Crime: 91. 100-2 Cross-cousin marriage: 114 Culture origin of, 148-58 nature of, 157-8, 165-7,236-9; behaviour in, 180, 227-8 v. also Emotion, Instinct, Sentiment, Family

Brother:

120-1 Buhler, Charlotte

and

:

Family

v.

139, 144,

nature of, sentiment,

:

211-12, 214-16, 254-6

;

i

;

;

matrilineal. 80-1, 83, 85, 120,

281

:


— —— —

INDEX

282 Havelock

Ellis,

196

194,

33

:

193

n.,

n..

n.

Embarrassment

puberty

at

:

60-1, 63

Frazer, Sir

G.

J.

:

;

;

;

;

;

ment

104 Totem and 168 Cyclopean family, 149-152, 158-60, 164 totemism and beginnings of culture, 149-59, 162, 167, 274 folk-lore,

Endopsychic censor 242 Excrement, cursing by 104

Taboo,

:

:

Excretion, interest in 51-2. 77 79,

:

;

;

155-172 incest, 244-6, 249, 252

234,

195;

breach

;

148,

;

34, 38,

:

96,

242, 271, 277-8; V. Suvasova

critique

of,

of,

Games, sexual, Family in psycho-analysis, 2-7; comparison of savage and 8-14,

civilized,

;

74-82

19-32,

;

Genital,

160, 164 among anthropoids, 150-1, 159-62, 163 among as compared with animals, summary, 225-8 fundamental constitution of, 192 importance in culture, 184-5, 221-3, 239; ties, ;

of children

9,

:

interest

35

:

n.,

39,

55-6

75-8.

complex, 2, 8, 15, Cyclopean, 149, 158,

on

;

55-7

:

80

194

n.,

;

Emotions and culture 236-7, 276-7 organization in 230-3 marriage, v. also Senti-

Exogamy

157

:

Freud, S.: 1, 6, 15 n., 35, 157 n., modification of 172, 241-2 his theory of complex, 81-2 sex latency period, 49-51, 78 theory of neurosis, 86, 89-90 of dreams, 92^, 124 of

157.n. Ginsberg, M. Gregariousness v. Herd Instinct Gwayluwa (mania) 87 :

:

;

man

;

;

238-9—

218-24,

Hartland, E.

Herd

Fatherhood, Instinct, Marriage, Sentiment Father: in Trobriands, 9-11; in Europe, 27-9 compared, 12,

;

;

;

38, 43,

;

temptations, 80, 83, 139, 183,

myth

Affection,

also

Family Fatherhood social nature 214-17 23, ignorance :

;

physiological, 137-46, 171

109,

9,

;

myth

of

of 145, :

115

:

:

5

n.,

also

:

;

:

16 Infantile sexuality v. Sexuality of children none 257-8 Initiation 17, in Trobriands, 59-60 defined, 161, 186, 245 ; Instinct :

;

— and custom. 22 — modi:

16 n.

Folk-lore and psycho-analysis

104— v.

'

category created by 71, 77 Decent elders, 52 v. also Infancy period of development, '

262-73 Fliigel, J. C.

'

'

of,

Father-right and mother-right Fire,

in myth, 224, Pt. iv, ch. ix biology of 126-9, 134 incestous unions, 243-4 33-6, 38-9, 51-5, Indecent ;

;

Trobriand

in

;

;

;

109-10— y.

:

73,

;

absent

264 185-

:

father-daughter, 65-6, brother-sister, 84, 100 mother-son, 24596-9, 132 last absent in 52, 271, 277 incestous 100 Trobriands, 95-7 incestous dreams.

Incest

65-6, 72-3, 76 and son, 37-8, 43, 61. 68-9, 80, 253-62 120-1 authoritv, 42-4, 183, 220, 224, 254, 257-62

gifts,

n.,

157 n. Perversion

:

;

263

92, 222 Hobhouse, L. T. Homosexuality v.

12-13, 23-4, 29-32, 42-4, 76-7;

and daughter,

:

disproved

also

t;.

Emotions,

S.

instinct,

Myth

;

:

under culture. 182, 184, 192, 199-200, 203-6, 225-8;

fied


— —

INDEX strengthened bv culture, 210, 212, 214-15, 216-17—1;. also

Herd

Sentiment

instinct,

Jealousy

nephew,

uncle and

:

79, 83, 103 :

153,

Mother,

etc.

101

magical dream, 128 157 n., 167, 172 Kroeber, A. L. magic, dreams, 93-4 Kula 130 magic, 112 Kwoygapani :

of

98

:

49 Morals 182, 256-7 Morgan, L. H. 222 Mother and son, 33

:

n.,

36, 38, 62, 80, 220, 245-52, 269-70 [v. and daughter, also Incest) 36, 65 in savage and Motherhood society compared, civilized :

;

19-23, 25-7 102 Mother-right 137-140, 145-7.

and

9-10, 13, brother 44-7, 69, 79, 100, 113, 116, 120-1, 258-9 V. also Tudava classifica108-34 interpretation 108 of flying canoe, of, 116; 118-22 of salvage magic, 122-3 of love magic. 126-9 and ritual, 133 v. also Fire, Magic, Tudava

:

'

:

;

;

magical filiation, 117-134; 129-131 V. also Kwoygapani, Waygxgi Mailu neurasthenics in, 88-9 :

clan, and incest, 97 Malasi Marett, R. R. 157 n. in Trobriands, 9-12, Marriage 201-2. animal, 204; 45; human, 202-6, 225-8, 230 156-8 psyclie Mass 180-2, 190-1 Material culture :

:

:

'

:

— — —

;

;

;

:

;

;

of,

;

:

;

:

6,

:

tion

Legitimacy, postulate of 212-14 1, 33, 245 Libido 157 n., 184 n., Lowie, R. H. 243 n., 265-6 108 Lugiita (sister)

Magic: 93, 108, 117; black, love, 84, 93, 123-9. 87-8, 101 132-3 suvasova, 99 130, and myth, shipwreck, 122

V.

Mother's

Myth

:

;

father-right, also Matriliny

xi

:

Lang, Andrew: 157 n., 251 180, 182, 189-90 Language

origin ', 171. 278; Pt. iv, ch. '

:

;

'

98

and native morality,

:

Mokadayu, story

:

:

'

88,

:

Father,

also

t;.

Kinsmen: 47-8, Kirisala

:

131-2

:

:

278—

272,

(spiritualistic)

Miracle Missions 90

:

Mother's brother Kayro'iwo v. Magic of love Kinship: 47, 69 n., 159; bilateral and unilateral, 266-9, v.

Medium

Moll, A.

6, 136-47, Jones, Ernest 158, 162-3. 272-3, 278

Kada —

283

Nagowa (mental disorder) Nakedness

:

taboo

no

:

87 in

Melanesia, 55

Neurosis

among

:

Melanesians,

interpretation of, 170 85-90 4. 75, 137, Nuclear complex 173-8 varies with social with constitustrata, 14-15 ;

'

'

:

;

;

tion of family, 81-2, 142 Jones's view of. 137 v. also ;

Complex Nursing of child: 208, 245-7

20-21.

23,

:

Maternal instinct 160,

18, 20, 22, also Affection 197, 225, 228, 230

Mating Matrihny and :

:

207-8—y. :

4,

9,

75-6,

myth,

103

;

108-17—w.

also Mother-right

Matrimonial response 175 McDougall, W. :

104-7 Obscenity CEdipus complex :

2, 5, 6, 65, 78, 80, 83, 135, 182, 245, 252. product of a 261, 274, 278-9 :

;

75, 5, patriarchal society, assimilation 173 167-70, assumed univerof, 168-9 sality, 137-48, 158, 162-3, 171 ;

:

202, 211

;


— —

—— —

INDEX

284 Parental love

207-8

IW»,

Parricide

:

;

102

:

among

in

Robertson Smith,

animals,

Rut

man, 208

194

:

\V.

148-9

:

197-8. 201

5.

primeval, 152,

;

critique 251, 274 Paternity: biological foundation of, 207, 210-15; cultural reinforcement of, 215-17 V. also

Selective mating

F~atherhood Father, postestas r. authority 168-70 Patriarchy Peasant family 29, 14. 17, 34,;J7, 41,43, 51-4, 64 Perversions rare in Trobriands, 57, 90 v. Physiological fatherhood

Sex confidences 36 n. Sex latency period 49-55,

Pt.

ch. iv

iii,

and v

;

Sentiment

of. 172,

:

V.

n.,

184

:

:

n.,

:

;

Plasticity of instincts 200, 206, 216, 223, 236-7, 277, Pt. iv, ch. vii V. also Instinct :

Ploss-Renz 33 n. 120 Pokala (pavment) Pregnancy': 19-21, 204, 208-9, 210-12, 214— j;. also Taboo Primal horde v. Family, Cyclo:

:

pean Property in magic, 120-1, 125, 128-9 relation to Psycho-analysis biology and sociology, 1, 135 to anthropology, 6-7, 116, 136, 140-1,279-80; —and family, :

:

;

—and 241-2 Puberty

81

;

— and myth,

134

:

:

;

143 Social organization also Family, Clan

Speech

:

v.

Language

v. :

:

268-9 v. also KinSuccession ship 245-7 Suckling Sidumwoya (love magic) 125-8 Suvasova (breach of exogamy) :

:

:

99-100

;

;

;

Rank, Dr O.

6, 22 Repression 38-9, 71-2, 80-3, 241-2, 273 and neurosis, 89 and dreams, 91-3 104-7 and abuse, and myth, 110 of knowledge of paternity, 137-8, 144-7 - and the complex, 143-6, 171. 174-5 Rivers, W. H. R. 265 :

:

221-3

:

Stern, W. 33 n. Stout, G. F. 175

73, 96,

59-73 of civilized 60-4 of civilized girl, 64-6 in Trobriands, 66-73

246-8 36-7 Sexual rivalry Shand, A. F. 2, 175-8, 240-2, 247, 249, 259 Obscenity, Sister— v. Incest, etc. substitute for mother,

:

;

theory of A. F. Shand,

boy,

;

Games :

n.

2, 75,

also

Sexual desire in marriage, 233 Sexual dreams 95-7 Sexual impulse 193-8; control of, 199-200 Sexual relations 195-6, 30, 200-6, 230-4 and mother,

Fatherhood 22

58,

:

:

also Instinct,

78 Sexuality of children 9, 33, 35, 49-50, 55-8, 77, 86, 277—

:

G.

v.

191,

260-1,

:

:

243

248-50,

Pt.iv, ch.viii

:

Pitt-Rivers,

176-8,

Complex

Patria

240-2,

205,

Mating

v.

75,

2,

:

;

;

;

;

;

:

Taboo

:

79, 83,

133, 2561;

128,

brother and sister, 12, 46, 57_8, 70-2, 79 ;— of birth, 19, 22 of pregnancv, 21, 209, sex, 47^ 77, 100, 215, 254

;

;

226 200. 199, incest, 79, 252. 277 origin of, 148, 155 47-8 Tomakava (stranger) 162-3, Totemism 155. 148, totemic Pt. iii, ch. iii-iv sacrament, 149, 152, 165 165,

195,

;

exogamv, 79

;

;

:

:

;

Tradition

:

219, 227, 236


â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

INDEX Tudava, myth

of

Tylor. E.

265

li.

:

111-14

:

Veyola-

285 ~v

magic

Wayi^igi,

(younp man) maternal Uncle Vlatile

:

:

v.

66 Mother's

brother; substitute for father, 143

Unconscious clement 174-5. 182

in

complex

sunshine

Weaning

Kmsnirn

.

:

of rain 130, 133 23, 25-6

and

:

157 11., 175. Westerniarck, E. 194, 196 n., 212 n.. 243 n .244. 252 122 Witches, flying :

;


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