vagina dentata

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A fantasy of a toothed vagina, a legendary hazard associated with sexual intercourse. The Austrian psychoanalyst Otto Rank (1884–1939) first identified it, in his book The Trauma of Birth (1924), as a widespread cause of anxiety among neurotic men, and it was explored further by the Hungarian psychoanalyst Sandor Ferenczi (1873–1933). The counterpart fantasy among women, called penis dentata (toothed penis), is less commonly observed. [From Latin vagina a sheath + dentata toothed, from dens, dentis a tooth]

Subjects: Religion — Psychology.

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