Several of Freud's contemporaries, including some women analysts, were critical of Freud's views on the psychology of women. Among his critics was Karen Horney, who rejected the idea that penis envy is central to normal female development. She acknowledged, however, that from a cultural point ofview, envy of the male role might explain some of Freud's clinical observations better than the biological notion of penis envy. In addition, after many years of analyzing female patients, Horney began analyzing males; from her observations, she concluded that males often exhibit an intense envy of pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood, as well as of the breasts and of the act of suckling.

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