The theme of the pubertaire includes the revelation of the third dimension of the female body : the evolution at puberty of the maternal feminine. The author examines what he would call the maternal genital metaphor. Ordinarily, the erotic play of young adolescents is a symbolization of the masks of the maternal depths. In pathology there is a disavowal of the metaphor, defended by the practices of incorporation, aspects of the fetishizing of the adolescent’s body. Surface sexuality is commonplace at the beginning of adolescence. It can be perpetuated – the example of André Gide is investigated.
The rearrangement of identifications in the young girl as she moves from the end of childhood into adolescence is illustrated using elements from a study of preadolescents and their future development, a study carried out by means of interviews and projective methods. While the prepubescent and pubescent girls had the same average age, there are radical differences in the mutation of envelope femininity into orifice femininity depending on whether the girls have begun to menstruate or not ; this confirms the validity of hypotheses about the pubertaire proposed by Philippe Gutton. At the same time, psychical movements of separation from parental images take shape, providing a springboard towards subjectivation.