By Erik Erikson, Richard E. Evans

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I would say that you could speak of a fully mature ego only after adolescence, which means, after all, becoming an adult. I've personally learned most from my work with children and with ado­ lescents and young adults. As [August] Aichhom has taught us, in working with late adolescents it isn't enough to interpret to them what went wrong in their past his­ tory. The present is too powerful for much retrospection. In fact, they often use that kind of interpretation to develop a florid ideology of illness, and actu aiJY become quite proud of their neuroses.

Every culture at this stage offers training and teaching. Indians out in the forest give a little boy a little play bow and arrow. We are a literate civilization and so we show children how to read and write. And there is a real revolu­ tion going on right now, which insists on new ways of introducing the child to a technological universe right from the beginning of school life. I 27 Dialogue with Erik Erikson 1f The latency period then is very important for industry, and when inferiority develops, it is because the child's attempts toward mastery have failed?

And finally, it probably took a certain devel­ opment of the field, including the participation of women doctors, to help men to empathize with women-a dan­ gerous undertaking for a man if your public role, your preferred method, and your masculine identity all depend on each other. The point is not to deny what Freud saw and generalized. For there can be no doubt that women in many ways envy masculinity deeply. Any little girl grow­ ing up at that time, or, for that matter, throughout the patriarchal era of mankind, could see that a boy, just I 43 Dialogue with Erik Erikson because of his anatomical appendage, was considered more important.

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