Do psychiatric professionals actually believe fast car = compensation for small penis

We have all heard that a man driving a fast car or big truck or nice boat is compensating for his small penis. So, is this an actual accepted theory in psychology?

I’ve always thought it was probably just something people made up to disparage economically advantaged persons. I would figure pretty much everyone would prefer a fast car to a slow one, a big truck to a small one, or a nice boat to, well not a nice boat. But then again, I also have a small penis.

This pop cultural idea has Freudian connotations although I don’t believe Freud ever said such a thing.

I handy rule of thumb is that virtually all psychiatrists/psychologists have abandoned Freudian, Jungian and other psychology from the earlier part of the 20th century. A stopped watch is right twice a day but you can go ahead and safely discard all theories of that nature as they relate to current psychology although they remain an ill-informed device in some literature.

Adherents to Freudian theory are dropping off about as quickly as WWII vets at this point although you could probably find one in a big city if you really tried. Hugely time-consuming and expensive Freudian style psychoanalysis used to involve such horsehit but it dropped after rapidly after the 80’s.

Modern psychology starts with Pavlov and Skinner which is later than the other quacks although there are many developing and scientific subfields, non of which talk about the issue in the OP.

Just block that type of thing from your brain when you hear it because it has no basis in science.

**I went to grad school in psychology/behavioral neuroscience

Hooking Up by Tom Wolfe has a great chapter about the decline of Freudian thinking among intellectuals. He credits lithium:

In 1949, an Australian psychiatrist, John Cade, gave five days of lithium therapy…to a fifty-one year old mental patient who was so uncontrollable, he had been kept locked up in asylums for twenty years. By the sixth day, thanks to the lithium buildup in his blood, he was a normal human being. Three months later he was released and lived happily ever after in his own home. This was a man who had been locked up and subjected to two decades of Freudian logorrhea to no avail whatsoever. Over the next twenty years antidepressant and tranquilizing drugs completely replaced Freudian talk-talk as treatment for severe mental disturbances. By the mid 1980s, neuroscientists looked upon Freudian psychiatry as a quant relic based largely upon superstition, like phrenology or mesmerism. In fact, among neuroscientists, phrenology now has a higher reputation than Freudian psychiatry, since phrenology was in a certain crude way a precursor of electroencephalography. Freudian psychiatrists are now regarded as quacks with sham medical degrees, as ears that people with more money than sense can hire to talk into.

Turns to mom the psychologist and asks her

Mom: “Not really but there’s a lot of anendotal evidence.”

My thought is it’s not really a small penis per se but fancy possessions are often compensation for some feel of inadequacy, be it general insecurity, age, penis size, impotence, what have you.

There are still a fair number of therapists (not just psychiatrists) who interpret just about everything as an expression of personal inadequacy.

Exactly. If Trump, with all his self-promotion and same-named phallic symbols isn’t a walking case of chronic insecurity, I’ll eat my shirt.

Although you can probably find someone, somewhere who theorizes just about anything, in general the answer is no. I think that most mental health pros would think that the purchase of expensive powerful items fulfills some sort of need or goal, but how and why would depend on the individual situation, the mental health pro, and their general theoretical stance.

As far as Freudian thinking goes, I still think that the defense mechanisms are pretty cool (denial, rationalization, regression, intellectualization, displacement, etc.).

Don’t forget undoing. It’s my favorite.

Pretty much what I was thinking (though I have no psychiatric credentials to speak of). There are lots of other things to be insecure about: fading youth (mid-life crisis), past economic shortcomings (someone who comes into money and immediately buys an expensive car), social status (needing to have a better car than the neighbor), etc.

Then again, some people know their cars and simply enjoy the feel of going full-out on an open road.

While I like looking at fast cars (I can detect a Porsche outline at 70 miles with curves in between, I swear), I would never want one.

But then, I don’t have a penis.

Why does a peacock have ostentatious tail feathers ?

Why flashy watches, ‘designer’ clothes, bling etc ?

Part of it is indicating ones caste, part of it bragging, part of it is exaggeration.

Freud probably had a point that most people are sexually screwed up, but there are other motives.

As a male, it was quite a revelation to discover that (some ?) females dress for the approbation of other females.

Some only? In my experience, the majority…

Und zo, ve see zat Nava’s denial of her repressed desire to to posess ze fast car ist caused by her repressed desire to possess a penis.

I think making a direct connection w/ penis size and autos is extremely simplistic, but there can be no doubt that people compensate for insecurity by displaying ownership/control of symbols of power. Americans, as a whole, seem to be unique in their love of autos and guns, irrationally so, IMHO.
Freud may have been too quick to draw associations between sex and behavior, but much of his research has value to this day. With notable exceptions, we are relections of our parental influence, like it or not.
People who are philosophically secure don’t usually induge in material displays of wealth and power.

What is it?

this made me laugh :stuck_out_tongue:

“Undoing” is similar to *reaction formation. * That’s helpful, isn’t it? Here’s an okay site for basic definitions. Look at the whole page as an explanation of Freud’s topographic model of the psyche and a list of defenses with links to more extensive discussion are found after several sets of ads.

I heard Bruno Bettelheim once give a lecture on Freud’s structure of the mind. Since then I consider Freud’s psychology to be an intricate, coherent, and ingenius metaphor for the human psyche.

But as far as a scientific explanation, yeah, it seems to be pretty much horse crap. Ingenious, beautiful horse crap, but horse crap nonetheless.

What I love is the notion that love of guns is somehow a compensation for having a small penis. I believe Freud actually said that fear of guns and large weapons showed sexual immaturity.

On topic, do some men with small penises have flashy cars and whatnot? Of course. However, plenty of men with large penises do, too. Having a flashy car or being ostentatious does not necessarily mean that a man is compensating for any form of inadequacy. It may mean simply mean he likes flashy cars and showing off his wealth.

I make fun of the whole mindset by often proclaiming, ie “Oh, no, that guy passed me, now He’s ahead of me, I can feel my penis shrinking.” In a mock horrified voice.

Of course, when I see another 2000 Chevy Metro (like the one I drive) I point at it and say “Oh, hey, cool car.”