Innovative redrawing of female anatomy appeared in the scientific literature and then in the popular press leading up to the Millenium. The surrounding structures of the clitoris, that small, vestigial organ, are part of a larger one, with equivalent structures to the penis. This knowledge was lost for centuries for complex social and cultural reasons. The new work disappeared in a wave of embarrassment and trivialisation, underpinned by anxiety. In the long and passionate debate within psychoanalysis over the theory of female sexuality, which has spanned more than a century and reached no definitive conclusion, this pattern of non-acceptance of ideas, their disappearance and then re-emergence later is a continually repeating one. It mirrors the characteristics of the female organs themselves, hidden, kept secret, circular and concentric in form, both physically but also generationally. Perhaps the time is right culturally to explore this further.
About the Author:
Anne Zachary is a member of the British Psychoanalytical Society and fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. She has had a thriving psychoanalytic practice for nearly 30 years. Her NHS training in psychotherapy was at the Cassel Hospital, London, and afterwards she spent 18 months in a locum consultant post at the Maudsley hospital. From 1988 - 2010 she worked part-time as an NHS consultant at the Portman Clinic, Tavistock & Portman NHS Trust, specializing in sexual perversion, violence, and delinquency. During this time she was also seconded at different times to various medium secure settings and for five years (2003 – 8) to the high secure setting, Broadmoor Hospital.