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Fetishism and anxiety : a test of some psychodynamic hypotheses.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2010
<mark>Journal</mark>Empirical Text and Culture Research
Number of pages9
Pages (from-to)135-143
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


A computer-assisted content analysis of a corpus of 676 German-language foot, shoe, and boot fetish fantasies using the Dresdner Angstwörterbuch demonstrated an elevated rate of anxiety themes when compared with a broad-based general corpus containing 500 samples of published written German. This lends some support to the psychodynamic theory that fetish­ism has its roots in anxiety. More specifically, rates of mutilation (i.e. castration) anxiety themes were significantly higher in the fetish texts than in the control texts, but no significant difference was detected between the two sets of texts in relation to separation anxiety. This finding seems to support the traditional Freudian theory of fetishism, as opposed to the theories of the object-relations school; however, a phrasal analysis of the corpus also sup­ports a modification of the Freudian theory, in that the woman may be the fetishist's perceived agent of castration rather than its original victim.