Date of Defense



Gender and Women's Studies


Psychic penetration and assimilation is a violation of the psychological boundaries of an individual which disrupts her/his autonomy and individuation process. It is marked by an attitude of dominance and authority, a desire to over-rule, control and imbue the recipient with a blue-print of the penetrator's thought patterns. This imbuing creates a violation when it has at its base the belief that the individual being psychologically penetrated is in some way incomplete or inferior in her/his given state, and must be changed, molded, and psychologically recreated to acceptably fit into the psychological frame-work of the individual(s) assuming a dominant stance. In this way, the individual being psychically penetrated is assimilated, and rather than achieving individuation becomes a psychological extension of the penetrator/assimilator. The result is psychological enmeshment, with imperceptible psychological boundaries.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only