Overview: Phallus-The penis (A representation of the erect penis as an embodiment of generative power.) This encyclopedia entry will discuss societies standard of a phallus being held to a higher standard than a vagina. Society associates penis with power, maleness, and worthiness. This can affect the way people shape perceptions of situations and perceived normalcy. (Fuentes, 2013)


Religious Aspect

Worship/Symbolism: Phallus has been worshiped for many years by different cultures. In Egypt, they worshipped Min the Egyptian god of fertility. He was used to making sure the new pharaohs were fertile. He is represented in human form, bearing an erection. In hieroglyphic form, he is represented simply as a phallus. Hinduism is one culture who currently worships a lingam (penis). This comes from Shiva, the god of destruction and change who was killed. Then the goddess Kali ripped out, ate his organs, and then mounted his still-erect penis to “complete the cycle of creation.” One place this worship is heavily practiced with is the city of Varanasi. Here the religious men stretch their penises as a sign of worship. Next is the Japanese religion Shinto. They worship a shrine of life-size phallus. People write their prayers and wishes on them. Japan also have a festival in which citizen carry giant phallus for the day. The goal of the festival is to help ensure the marriage and fertility of participants by asking the crowd for blessings. Next, in South Korea there is a park named Haesindang Park (Penis Park). This is story states a girl drowned a virgin. This caused the local fishermen to see a drought in fishing. They blamed this on the girl frustration over having died a virgin. To fix the situation, they started presenting her with carved wooden phalluses, which brought back the fish. This just names a few religions worships, there are many more, which mostly points to fertility in other cultures. (Weisman,2015) in America penis worshipping is shown on a pornographic viewpoint. However, not everyone agrees Bella Lavey blogs that “A blowjob is something you do for him cock worship is something you do for YOU…Yes, it’s a gift and offering but, you do it because you love it and you need it…”  (LaVey, 2018) Although penis worshipping is different in many places the gestures are the same, bowing down to a phallus.


Social Aspect

Sexual orientation: Thephallus is held to a higher standard regardless of sexual orientation. Here are a few facts:Straight/Bisexual women say good penis blows decision-making skills. They will get crazy, jealous, and paranoid behind it. (Lambert, 2014) This causes them to accept bad qualities such as abuse, multiple other women, no job. Bisexual Maleshas said women will state “I don’t mess with guys who suck penis.” A man that has sex with another man masculinity becomes tarnished. They are seen as promiscuous and greedy. Bisexual women don’t have this problem. This shows the standard society put on phallus. A woman will turn away from a man that fits everything she is looking for if he admits to being bisexual. (Lacey, 2018) Gay Malessee vaginas as disgusting have a perceived notion that it has teeth. (Moore, 2013) Some have debated if a man can truly be bisexual. This can come off as having biphobia. (Ward, 2017) Lesbian womenuse dildos either with a harness or without. Some lesbians admit that they love wearing a strap on. They feel powerful and more connected to their partner. Society sees the “masculine” or butch woman as the wearer in a lesbian relationship. (Sciortino, 2017) These are examples of putting Phallus on a pedestal within sexual orientation. The penis holds a masculine identity which society deems powerful. However, the vagina has a feminine identity which is seen as weak, disgusting, and gullible.

Polygamy Polyandry vs Polygyny: Polygamy is a social situation that not many people think about. However, when they do polygyny is more acceptable than polyandry. Polyandry is when a woman has more than one husband. Polygyny is when a man has multiple wives. Theories believe that the 6-week time periods of sexual abstinence that women must follow after childbirth makes polygyny a desire. The unfulfilled sexual need drives husbands to acquire additional wives. (Schwimmer, 2003) The practice of polyandry is negatively looked upon. Some women have been called sluts or whores for bringing up the subject. (Thomas, 2016) It is believed that sexually women are not capable of fulfilling her biological duties, because she goes through many phases of her menstrual cycle. It is also frowned upon because of reproductive involvement. In polygyny all the children belong to that one man, making it easy to identify the two parents. But in the polyandry relationship, only the mother can be directly identified. Psychologist thinks children that don’t know their biological father has a high chance of developing psychiatric trauma or disorders. (Mansouriya, 2017) In this community, phallus is shown to be on a pedestal by the misconception that a man can sexually please all his wives, but a woman can’t do the same with multiple husbands. Polygyny is promoted through the media, showing acceptance through mainstream television, however there are no shows promoting polyandry.


Medical Aspect

Psychosexual development (phallic stage): It is said that the process of putting a penis on a pedestal happens automatically. Sigmund Freud’s 3rdstage (phallic) in psychosexual development shows the behaviors happen between age 3-6 uncontrollably. This is the stage in which people either develop Oedipus complex (boys) or Electra complexes(girls). In the Oedipus complex, a boy develops sexual desires for his mother. He wants to possess her and get rid of his father who already has her. Then the boy thinks that if his father found out his thoughts, he would take away what he loves the most, his penis. This leads to the boy developing castration anxiety because the father is seen as the most powerful member of the family. So, he resolves the problem by imitating his dads’ behaviors (masculine). Finally resolving the Oedipus complex through identification with the father. In the Electra complexes, a girl briefly desires her father. She realizes she doesn’t have a penis. This leads to the development of penis envy and she wishes to be a boy. She resolves this by repressing her desire for her father. She then substitutes her desire for a penis to a desire for a baby. This will lead to tension with her and her mother because she blames her for her castration state. The girl then represses her feelings. Finally, resolving the Electra Complex with identification with the mother. (McLeod, 2017) This section shows phallus being put on a pedestal through the fear of castration in boys or penis envy in girls. The Phallus stage expresses that masculinity is only possessed by having a penis. Children compete for their rightful place in the world, which is automatically resolves depending on the presence of a phallus.

Dysfunctions/Treatment:Phallus dysfunction is considered a huge problem in society. Viagra is a common drug for males’ erectile dysfunction. This drug was approved in 1998 and now there are over 26 drugs that can help with this issue. However, women who suffer from sexual disorders such as HSDD (hypoactive sexual desire disorder) didn’t receive any help until 2015. This came with many difficulty, American Psychiatric Association entirely removed HSDD from its diagnostic manual in 2013 and replaced it with a new diagnosis that focuses on arousal and desire as a much more complicated feedback loop. The CEO of Sprout Pharmaceutical believed this only happened because it is believed that women’s arousal is phycological vs men being biological. In reality, both aspects are found in both genders. She believes that women should have a biological option just like men. Sprout tried to come up with a solution with a drug name Flibanserin “female viagra” due to the side effects which included low blood pressure, fainting, nausea, and fatigue the FDA refused to approve. This was seen as biased because Viagra has more severe health risks, such as seizures, strokes, and the most common four-hour erection that requires medical attention that’s heard often in commercials. Women’s history shows female issues such as birth control and hormone replacement therapy must be politicized, this was no different. Meanwhile male phallus issued are prioritized.  (Leber, 2015)


Helpful links:

https://bellalavey.com/blog/cock-worship-or-blowjob/

https://www.vogue.com/article/breathless-karley-sciortino-strap-ons

https://www.alternet.org/2015/11/brief-history-penis-worship/

https://www.fastcompany.com/3049926/the-female-viagra-is-coming-the-story-of-how-it-almost-never-happened

https://thoughtcatalog.com/madison-moore/2013/06/what-gay-men-think-about-vaginas/


Works Cited

Fuentes, Agustín. “The Phallus Fallacy.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 15 July 2013,

www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/busting-myths-about-human-nature/201307/the-phallus-fallacy.

Lacey, Kyla Jenee. “Why I’m Open to Dating Bisexual Men.” The Root, Www.theroot.com, 24

Jan. 2018, www.theroot.com/why-i-m-open-to-dating-bisexual-men-1821761005.

Lambert., G.L. “Does Dick Make Women Crazy?” Far From BasYc, 10 Apr. 2014,

farfrombasyc.com/2014/04/dick-make-women-crazy.html.

LaVey, Bella. “Cock Worship or Blowjob… What’s the Difference?” Bella LaVey, 4 Sept. 2018,

 bellalavey.com/blog/cock-worship-or-blowjob/.

Leber, Jessica. “The ‘Female Viagra’ Is Here: The Story Of How It Almost Never

Happened.” Fast Company, Fast Company, 18 Aug. 2015, www.fastcompany.com/3049926/the-female-viagra-is-coming-the-story-of-how-it-almost-never-happened.

Mansouriya, Fatima Zahra. “What Do You Feel as a Woman If Polyandry Were Allowed and

Legal by Religion and National Law? .” Quora- A Place to Share Knowledge and Better Understand the World., 11 Oct. 2017, www.quora.com/.

McLeod, Saul. “Psychosexual Stages.” Simply Psychology, Simply Psychology, 5 Feb. 2017,

www.simplypsychology.org/psychosexual.html.

Moore, Madison. “This Is What Gay Men Think About Vaginas!” Thought Catalog, Thought

Catalog, 27 June 2013, thoughtcatalog.com/madison-moore/2013/06/what-gay-men-think-about-vaginas/.

Sciortino, Karley. “Why (Some) Women Love Strap-Ons.” Vogue, Vogue, 31 Jan. 2017,

www.vogue.com/article/breathless-karley-sciortino-strap-ons.

Schwimmer, Brian. “Marriage Systems.” Objectivity in Ethnography, Oct. 2003,

www.umanitoba.ca/faculties/arts/anthropology/tutor/marriage/polygyny.html.

Thomas, Sophie Saint. “Having Multiple Devoted Boyfriends Is Wonderful, Polyandrous

Women Confirm.” Broadly, VICE, 11 July 2016, broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/mgmmk4/having-multiple-devoted-boyfriends-is-wonderful-polyandrous-women-confirm.

Ward, Gregory. “My Boyfriend Thinks I’m 50% Gay/50% Straight. Uh-Uh.” Bi.org » Bisexuality

in the Media: Where Are the Bisexuals on TV?, 3 Apr. 2017, bisexual.org/my-boyfriend-thinks-im-50-gay50-straight-uh-uh/

Weisman, Carrie. “A Brief History of Penis Worship.” Alternet, Alternet.org, 2 Dec. 2015,

www.alternet.org/2015/11/brief-history-penis-worship/.

Zane, Zachary. “Good Bi Love: You Can Still Have Preferences.” Bi.org » Bisexuality in the

Media: Where Are the Bisexuals on TV?28 May 2018, bisexual.org/good-bi-love-you-can-still-have-preferences/.


Monique is a junior at Old Dominion University. She is majoring in Nursing with a minor in Women’s Studies. After receiving her B.S., she plans to get her M.S in Nurse-Midwifery and open a birthing center. She believes in taking an “all-natural” approach in life, hoping to find ways to apply it in the healthcare field.  She is a confident BBW who believes in body and sex positivity. She possesses positive traits such as compassion, kindness, and empathy which will continue to push her through life.