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Do Women Ever Get Penis Envy? The Truth Revealed!

When hearing the phrase “penis envy,” most people assume it’s a male issue. But in truth, it’s also a concept that can plague women.

penis envy

Penis envy, in a nutshell, is a person’s predisposition for wishing for a penis or a form of a penis that they prefer. It sounds pretty simple, right? But it’s not. There is more to penis envy than just wanting a penis. This is a subject that has been discussed for decades by the most renowned scholars, and one of them is someone that most people know very well – Sigmund Freud.

Sigmund Freud’s Theory

According to the “Father of Psychoanalysis,” penis envy is a stage in female psychosexual development, wherein a young girl starts to develop anxiety about her lack of a male organ. Freud states that girls develop penis envy due to a number of reasons, which include: being jealous of their mother, developing latent heterosexual interest in their mother, and a perceived lack of attention from their father. Freud maintained that this was a necessary and inevitable phase in every female child’s life.

The theory is pretty complex and highly controversial, due to the rapidly evolving idea that women should be studied independent of comparisons towards men.

Many psychiatrists and psychotherapists aimed to debunk the theory of penis envy by pointing out that the idea only gained ground due to Freud’s popularity and already existing theories.

At this point in time, no one can actually prove said theory, but neither can they absolutely debunk it. Is it important to know these facts? If you want to have something to talk about with psychoanalysts, then go crazy with Google. If you need to use it in your daily life, we wouldn’t put too much stake in it.

How Most People Perceive Penis Envy

When you ask regular people what penis envy is, it’s possible that you might get a strange look from those people. If they decide to answer, most of them will probably answer that penis envy is when a man gets jealous of another man’s penis. [Read: Does penis size matter: Big vs small dick & 24 good & bad qualities of both]

Due to the idea’s popularity, it is safe to assume that those people would be right. It’s not a crime to develop a new term using the same words, unless it was copyrighted. Was it? I’m not sure. Anyway, a lot of men develop penis envy in that sense when they see other guys’ body parts.

This can happen when a guy watches porn, undresses in a locker room or goes streaking with his buddies after a night out. Those are just some instances, but you get the point. It does not necessarily happen to every man out there, but it has a higher chance of happening to guys who have low self-esteem and to those who are having problems in the bedroom.

Do Women Also Get Penis Envy?

If we dissect Freud’s idea of penis envy and simplify it for real life application, we might be able to determine whether or not the modern woman develops penis envy. [Read: Do women like the penis? 22 Things that make a perfect cock that girls love]

We would write the specifics of the theory if I could, but we don’t think the audience would be inclined to read the rest of the entry, after they see Freud’s theory in bullet form.

It’s pretty graphic and could make you feel mildly queasy. You can look it up if you want, but we wouldn’t recommend it for the conservative and faint of heart.

Getting down to it, penis envy basically comes down to a girl wanting a penis or at least a life that requires a penis – meaning a girl might want to live like a man.

There is no definite category where you can put any woman in, because there are so many different aspects as to why a woman might want a penis or at least an identity as a man.

Some women just like society’s preconceived ideas about what men like. Some women just want to look like men without needing a penis. Some women want to actually have a penis. No one actually considers these urges as “penis envy.” It is simply the closest explanation you can derive from Freud’s theory.

Why Would a Woman Want a Penis?

The idea that men could get vaginas and women can get penises started at around the same time. Science has allowed for this to happen, and the people who were given a chance for this radical change couldn’t be any happier. [Read: The different types of gender & why you really need to know them]

Even though a huge percentage of the global population still can’t wrap their head around it, some people just aren’t happy with what they were born with.

That’s not to say that they aren’t thankful that they’re alive. It just means that they know that they have the ability to change, and nobody has the right to stop them.

While scouring the web for answers to the question, “Why do some women want to have penises?” we came across many interviews and blog posts that explain the sides of the stories that most people don’t get to see or don’t open their eyes to.

Their answers, although phrased differently with various origins and backgrounds, all say the same thing: It made them happier. Staying in the body they grew up in made them feel awkward, trapped, sad and lonely.

1. Gender Roles and Stereotypes

Traditional gender roles often paint men as powerful and dominant, leading some women to envy the authority and freedom typically associated with masculinity. [Read: Gender stereotypes about males we need to let go of for good]

This envy might manifest as a desire for the same social and professional opportunities often more accessible to men.

Movies, TV shows, and advertisements frequently glorify male characteristics and achievements. Women, constantly bombarded with these messages, might develop a sense of envy towards the seemingly superior position of men in society, as depicted by media narratives.

3. Body Image and Self-Esteem Issues

In a world where physical appearance is scrutinized, some women might perceive male bodies, especially their genitalia, as being free from the same level of judgment and critique, leading to a form of envy.

4. Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Considerations

For some women, especially those questioning their gender identity or sexual orientation, penis envy might symbolize a deeper conflict or aspiration related to their personal identity journey.

5. Workplace Inequality and Power Dynamics

The corporate ladder still shows a preference for men in many industries. Women observing this imbalance might feel a sense of envy towards the seemingly inherent advantages men possess in professional settings.

6. Historical Context of Male-Dominated Societies

Reflecting on history, where men have predominantly held power, some women might feel an envy tied to the historical privileges and freedoms that men have enjoyed.

7. Sexual Empowerment and Expression

In a society where male sexuality is often more openly celebrated, women might experience envy towards the perceived freedom and acceptance of male sexual expression.

8. Leadership and Representation

With men traditionally occupying more leadership roles, women might feel envy towards the visibility and respect automatically accorded to male leaders.

9. Parental and Societal Expectations

Growing up in environments where boys are encouraged to be assertive and ambitious, while girls are often nudged towards more nurturing roles, can instill a sense of envy in women towards the broader range of acceptable behaviors for men. [Read: Wife material: 38 signs she’s a keeper & you’d be lucky to marry her!]

10. Athletic and Physical Abilities

In the realm of sports and physical activities, men are often celebrated for their strength and endurance. Women might experience envy towards these attributes, especially in cultures that highly value athletic prowess.

Is Penis Envy a Real Concept That Plagues Women?

Judging from the research, we can’t say that it is. For now, people discuss the aspects of it using singular and isolated ideas. If someone does develop penis envy, any psychoanalyst would be hard-pressed to diagnose it as such, because there are no actual medical records that state that penis envy has ever been a problem.

The theories by Freud and their counterparts are quite complex and very well-versed, but it might be a better idea to develop tangible theories using those ideas as a backbone for new research that can help both men and women.

It is quite an engaging read, but all in all, it is not something that I would vehemently support, due to its lack of evidentiary support and the rapidly developing ideas that are coming to light from our current generation’s ideologies.


If you’re feeling uneasy about your body or experiencing feelings akin to penis envy, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. These feelings are more common than you might think, and they don’t have to be a source of distress.

Yes, some women might feel envious of those with penises, and similarly, some men might experience jealousy towards others they perceive as better endowed.

Penis envy, as a concept, isn’t as straightforward as it might seem. It’s a complex mix of emotions and perceptions, influenced by personal, social, and cultural factors. However, the key takeaway is to focus on your own goals and desires. Whether that means seeking a deeper understanding of your gender identity, aiming for certain attributes traditionally associated with masculinity, or simply striving for a sense of personal empowerment, it’s all about your individual journey.

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Danielle Anne
Those who can’t do, teach. I can neither do nor teach as well as others, but I can try. Aside from being a writer, I am also a physical therapist. My dream is...
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