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Oedipal themes in latency. Analysis of the "farmer's daughter" joke. (G)

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We get our jokes from all sorts of places, including the old standard of Google. While searching for a new Farmer's Daughter Joke, I came across this REAL abstract for a psych paper.

It may not be funny, but I find irony in someone taking a style of joke so seriously...


A sample of "farmer's daughter" jokes, gathered from archives, personal informants, and published collections, is examined in relation to the developmental progress of the latency-age boys who most often tell them. The joke texts are divided into three categories-oedipal triumph, castration, and feminization-each of which represents a different regressive fantasy. Through these fantasied scenarios, the joke teller can safely work through some of the anxieties he experiences as a result of the recent repression of the oedipal conflict. Common themes of latency fantasies such as separation from the family, confusion of gender identity, and incestuous desires are all present in the texts. Repetition of the farmer's daughter joke not only motivates the child's individual psychological progress but also reinforces his or her awareness of taboos and socially appropriate behavior. Because the parental injunctions are internalized to help consolidate superego formation at the onset of latency and the child must now displace incestuous urges with manifestations of conscience, the retesting of values through joke telling is important during this developmental period.

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