Psychosexual development

Psychosexual development

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Psychosexual development'
Start a new discussion about 'Psychosexual development'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
In Freudian
Sigmund Freud
Sigmund Freud , born Sigismund Schlomo Freud , was an Austrian neurologist who founded the discipline of psychoanalysis...

 psychology
Ego psychology
Ego psychology is a school of psychoanalysis rooted in Sigmund Freud's structural id-ego-superego model of the mind.An individual interacts with the external world as well as responds to internal forces. Many psychoanalysts use a theoretical construct called the ego to explain how that is done...

, psychosexual development is a central element of the psychoanalytic
Psychoanalysis
Psychoanalysis is a psychological theory developed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud. Psychoanalysis has expanded, been criticized and developed in different directions, mostly by some of Freud's former students, such as Alfred Adler and Carl Gustav...

 sexual drive theory, that human beings, from birth, possess an instinctual
Instinct
Instinct or innate behavior is the inherent inclination of a living organism toward a particular behavior.The simplest example of an instinctive behavior is a fixed action pattern, in which a very short to medium length sequence of actions, without variation, are carried out in response to a...

 libido
Libido
Libido refers to a person's sex drive or desire for sexual activity. The desire for sex is an aspect of a person's sexuality, but varies enormously from one person to another, and it also varies depending on circumstances at a particular time. A person who has extremely frequent or a suddenly...

 (sexual appetite) that develops in five stages. Each stage — the oral
Oral stage
In Freudian psychoanalysis, the term oral stage denotes the first psychosexual development stage wherein the mouth of the infant is his or her primary erogenous zone...

, the anal
Anal stage
The anal stage, in Freudian psychology, is the period of human development occurring at about one to two years of age. Around this age, the child begins to toilet train, which brings about the child's fascination in the erogenous zone of the anus...

, the phallic
Phallic stage
In Freudian psychology, the Phallic stage is the third stage of psychosexual development, spanning the ages of three to six years, wherein the infant’s libido centers upon his or her genitalia as the erogenous zone...

, the latent, and the genital
Genital stage
The genital stage in psychology is the term used by Sigmund Freud to describe the final stage of human psychosexual development. This stage begins at the start of puberty when sexual urges are once again awakened. Through the lessons learned during the previous stages, adolescents direct their...

 — is characterized by the erogenous zone
Erogenous zone
An erogenous zone is an area of the human body that has heightened sensitivity, the stimulation of which may result in the production of erotic sensations or sexual excitement.People have erogenous zones all over their bodies, but which areas are more sensitive than others vary...

 that is the source of the libidinal drive. Sigmund Freud
Sigmund Freud
Sigmund Freud , born Sigismund Schlomo Freud , was an Austrian neurologist who founded the discipline of psychoanalysis...

 proposed that if the child experienced anxiety
Anxiety
Anxiety is a psychological and physiological state characterized by somatic, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral components. The root meaning of the word anxiety is 'to vex or trouble'; in either presence or absence of psychological stress, anxiety can create feelings of fear, worry, uneasiness,...

, thwarting his or her sexual appetite during any libidinal (psychosexual) development stage, said anxiety would persist into adulthood as a neurosis
Neurosis
Neurosis is a class of functional mental disorders involving distress but neither delusions nor hallucinations, whereby behavior is not outside socially acceptable norms. It is also known as psychoneurosis or neurotic disorder, and thus those suffering from it are said to be neurotic...

, a functional mental disorder.

Background



Sigmund Freud
Sigmund Freud
Sigmund Freud , born Sigismund Schlomo Freud , was an Austrian neurologist who founded the discipline of psychoanalysis...

 (1856–1939) observed that during the predictable stages of early childhood development, the child's behavior is oriented towards certain parts of his or her body, e.g. the mouth during breast-feeding, the anus
Anus
The anus is an opening at the opposite end of an animal's digestive tract from the mouth. Its function is to control the expulsion of feces, unwanted semi-solid matter produced during digestion, which, depending on the type of animal, may be one or more of: matter which the animal cannot digest,...

 during toilet-training. He proposed that adult neurosis
Neurosis
Neurosis is a class of functional mental disorders involving distress but neither delusions nor hallucinations, whereby behavior is not outside socially acceptable norms. It is also known as psychoneurosis or neurotic disorder, and thus those suffering from it are said to be neurotic...

 (functional mental disorder) often is rooted in childhood sexuality, therefore, said neurotic adult behaviors were manifestations of childhood sexual fantasy and desire. That because human beings are born "polymorphously perverse
Polymorphous perversity
Polymorphous perversity is a psychoanalytic term for human ability to gain sexual gratification outside socially normative sexual behaviors. Sigmund Freud used this term to describe the normal sexual disposition of humans from infancy to about age five....

", infants can derive sexual pleasure from any part of their bodies, and that socialization directs the instinctual libidinal drives into adult heterosexuality. Given the predictable timeline of childhood behavior, he proposed "libido development" as a model of normal childhood sexual development, wherein the child progresses through five psychosexual stages — (i) the oral, (ii) the anal, (iii) the phallic, (iv) the latent, and (v) the genital — in which the source pleasure is in a different erogenous zone
Erogenous zone
An erogenous zone is an area of the human body that has heightened sensitivity, the stimulation of which may result in the production of erotic sensations or sexual excitement.People have erogenous zones all over their bodies, but which areas are more sensitive than others vary...

.

Freudian psychosexual development


Sexual infantilism — In pursuing and satisfying his or her libido
Libido
Libido refers to a person's sex drive or desire for sexual activity. The desire for sex is an aspect of a person's sexuality, but varies enormously from one person to another, and it also varies depending on circumstances at a particular time. A person who has extremely frequent or a suddenly...

 (sexual drive), the child might experience failure (parental and societal disapproval) and thus might associate anxiety with the given erogenous zone. To avoid anxiety, the child becomes fixated
Fixation (psychology)
Fixation: 'concept originated by Sigmund Freud to denote the persistence of anachronistic sexual traits'. Subsequently '"Fixation" acquired a broader connotation...

, preoccupied with the psychologic themes related to the erogenous zone in question, which persist into adulthood, and underlie the personality and psychopathology of the man or woman, as neurosis
Neurosis
Neurosis is a class of functional mental disorders involving distress but neither delusions nor hallucinations, whereby behavior is not outside socially acceptable norms. It is also known as psychoneurosis or neurotic disorder, and thus those suffering from it are said to be neurotic...

, hysteria
Hysteria
Hysteria, in its colloquial use, describes unmanageable emotional excesses. People who are "hysterical" often lose self-control due to an overwhelming fear that may be caused by multiple events in one's past that involved some sort of severe conflict; the fear can be centered on a body part, or,...

, personality disorders, et cetera.
Stage Age Range Erogenous zone Consequences of psychologic fixation
Oral(口腔期) Birth–1 year Mouth
Mouth
The mouth is the first portion of the alimentary canal that receives food andsaliva. The oral mucosa is the mucous membrane epithelium lining the inside of the mouth....

 
Orally aggressive: chewing gum and the ends of pencils, etc.
Orally Passive: smoking, eating, kissing, oral sexual practices
Oral stage fixation might result in a passive, gullible, immature, manipulative
Psychological manipulation
Psychological manipulation is a type of social influence that aims to change the perception or behavior of others through underhanded, deceptive, or even abusive tactics. By advancing the interests of the manipulator, often at the other's expense, such methods could be considered exploitative,...

 personality.
Anal(肛门期) 1–3 years Bowel and bladder
Urinary bladder
The urinary bladder is the organ that collects urine excreted by the kidneys before disposal by urination. A hollow muscular, and distensible organ, the bladder sits on the pelvic floor...

 elimination
Anal retentive
Anal retentive
The term anal-retentive , commonly abbreviated to anal, is used conversationally to describe a person who pays such attention to detail that the obsession becomes an annoyance to others, and can be carried out to the detriment of the anal-retentive person. The term derives from Freudian...

: Obsessively organized, or excessively neat
Anal expulsive
Anal expulsive
The term anal-expulsive refers to a personality trait present in people fixated in the anal stage of psychosexual development.In the psychology of Freud, the anal stage is said to follow the oral stage of infant/early-childhood development...

: reckless, careless, defiant, disorganized, coprophiliac
Coprophilia
Coprophilia , also called scatophilia or scat, is the paraphilia involving sexual pleasure from feces...

Phallic(性器期) 3–6 years Genitalia  Oedipus complex
Oedipus complex
In psychoanalytic theory, the term Oedipus complex denotes the emotions and ideas that the mind keeps in the unconscious, via dynamic repression, that concentrate upon a boy’s desire to sexually possess his mother, and kill his father...

 (in boys and girls); according to Sigmund Freud.
Electra complex
Electra complex
In Neo-Freudian psychology, the Electra complex, as proposed by Carl Gustav Jung, is a girl’s psychosexual competition with mother for possession of father. In the course of her psychosexual development, the complex is the girl’s phallic stage formation of a discrete sexual identity; a boy’s...

 (in girls); according to Carl Jung.
Latency(潜伏期) 6–puberty Dormant sexual feelings Sexual unfulfillment if fixation occurs in this stage.
Genital(两性期) Puberty–death Sexual interests mature Frigidity, impotence, unsatisfactory relationships

Oral stage


The first stage of psychosexual development is the oral stage
Oral stage
In Freudian psychoanalysis, the term oral stage denotes the first psychosexual development stage wherein the mouth of the infant is his or her primary erogenous zone...

, spanning from birth until the age of two years, wherein the infant's mouth is the focus of libidinal
Libido
Libido refers to a person's sex drive or desire for sexual activity. The desire for sex is an aspect of a person's sexuality, but varies enormously from one person to another, and it also varies depending on circumstances at a particular time. A person who has extremely frequent or a suddenly...

 gratification derived from the pleasure of feeding at the mother's breast, and from the oral exploration of his or her environment, i.e. the tendency to place objects in the mouth. The id dominates, because neither the ego nor the super ego is yet fully developed, and, since the infant has no personality
Self
The self is an individual person as the object of his or her own reflective consciousness. The self has been studied extensively by philosophers and psychologists and is central to many world religions.-Philosophy:...

 (identity), every action is based upon the pleasure principle
Pleasure principle (psychology)
In Freudian psychology, the pleasure principle is the psychoanalytic concept describing people seeking pleasure and avoiding suffering in order to satisfy their biological and psychological needs...

. Nonetheless, the infantile ego is forming during the oral stage; two factors contribute to its formation: (i) in developing a body image
Body image
Body image refers to a person's perception of the aesthetics and sexual attractiveness of their own body. The phrase body image was first coined by the Austrian neurologist and psychoanalyst Paul Schilder in his masterpiece The Image and Appearance of the Human Body...

, he or she is discrete from the external world, e.g. the child understands pain when it is applied to his or her body, thus identifying the physical boundaries between body and environment; (ii) experiencing delayed gratification leads to understanding that specific behaviors satisfy some needs, e.g. crying gratifies certain needs.

Weaning
Weaning
Weaning is the process of gradually introducing a mammal infant, either human or animal, to what will be its adult diet and withdrawing the supply of its mother's milk.The process takes place only in mammals, as only mammals produce milk...

 is the key experience in the infant's oral stage of psychosexual development, his or her first feeling of loss consequent to losing the physical intimacy of feeding at mother's breast. Yet, weaning increases the infant's self-awareness that he or she does not control the environment, and thus learns of delayed gratification, which leads to the formation of the capacities for independence (awareness of the limits of the self) and trust (behaviors leading to gratification). Yet, thwarting of the oral-stage — too much or too little gratification of desire
Libido
Libido refers to a person's sex drive or desire for sexual activity. The desire for sex is an aspect of a person's sexuality, but varies enormously from one person to another, and it also varies depending on circumstances at a particular time. A person who has extremely frequent or a suddenly...

 — might lead to an oral-stage fixation
Fixation
Fixation may refer to the following:In science:*Fixation , the state in which an individual becomes obsessed with an attachment to another human, an animal, or an inanimate object...

, characterised by passivity, gullibility, immaturity, unrealistic optimism, which is manifested in a manipulative personality consequent to ego malformation. In the case of too much gratification, the child does not learn that he or she does not control the environment, and that gratification is not always immediate, thereby forming an immature personality. In the case of too little gratification, the infant might become passive upon learning that gratification is not forthcoming, despite having produced the gratifying behavior.

Anal stage


The second stage of psychosexual development is the anal stage
Anal stage
The anal stage, in Freudian psychology, is the period of human development occurring at about one to two years of age. Around this age, the child begins to toilet train, which brings about the child's fascination in the erogenous zone of the anus...

, spanning from the age of fifteen months to three years, wherein the infant's erogenous zone
Erogenous zone
An erogenous zone is an area of the human body that has heightened sensitivity, the stimulation of which may result in the production of erotic sensations or sexual excitement.People have erogenous zones all over their bodies, but which areas are more sensitive than others vary...

 changes from the mouth
Mouth
The mouth is the first portion of the alimentary canal that receives food andsaliva. The oral mucosa is the mucous membrane epithelium lining the inside of the mouth....

 (the upper digestive tract) to the anus
Anus
The anus is an opening at the opposite end of an animal's digestive tract from the mouth. Its function is to control the expulsion of feces, unwanted semi-solid matter produced during digestion, which, depending on the type of animal, may be one or more of: matter which the animal cannot digest,...

 (the lower digestive tract), while the ego formation continues. Toilet training is the child's key anal-stage experience, occurring at about the age of two years, and results in conflict between the Id (demanding immediate gratification) and the Ego (demanding delayed gratification) in eliminating bodily wastes, and handling related activities (e.g. manipulating excrement, coping with parental demands). The style of parenting influences the resolution of the Id–Ego conflict, which can be either gradual and psychologically uneventful, or which can be sudden and psychologically traumatic
Psychological trauma
Psychological trauma is a type of damage to the psyche that occurs as a result of a traumatic event...

. The ideal resolution of the Id–Ego conflict is in the child's adjusting to moderate parental demands that teach the value and importance of physical cleanliness and environmental order, thus producing a self-controlled adult. Yet, if the parents make immoderate demands of the child, by over-emphasizing toilet training, it might lead to the development of a compulsive personality
Compulsive behavior
Compulsive behavior is behavior which a person does compulsively—in other words, not because they want to behave that way, but because they feel they have to do so....

, a person too concerned with neatness and order. If the child obeys the Id, and the parents yield, he or she might develop a self-indulgent personality characterized by personal slovenliness and environmental disorder. If the parents respond to that, the child must comply, but might develop a weak sense of Self
Self
The self is an individual person as the object of his or her own reflective consciousness. The self has been studied extensively by philosophers and psychologists and is central to many world religions.-Philosophy:...

, because it was the parents' will, and not the child's ego, who controlled the toilet training.

Phallic stage


The third stage of psychosexual development is the phallic stage
Phallic stage
In Freudian psychology, the Phallic stage is the third stage of psychosexual development, spanning the ages of three to six years, wherein the infant’s libido centers upon his or her genitalia as the erogenous zone...

, spanning the ages of three to six years, wherein the child's genitalia are his or her primary erogenous zone
Erogenous zone
An erogenous zone is an area of the human body that has heightened sensitivity, the stimulation of which may result in the production of erotic sensations or sexual excitement.People have erogenous zones all over their bodies, but which areas are more sensitive than others vary...

. It is in this third infantile development stage that children become aware of their bodies, the bodies of other children, and the bodies of their parents; they gratify physical curiosity by undressing and exploring each other and their genitals, and so learn the physical
Human anatomy
Human anatomy is primarily the scientific study of the morphology of the human body. Anatomy is subdivided into gross anatomy and microscopic anatomy. Gross anatomy is the study of anatomical structures that can be seen by the naked eye...

 (sexual) differences between "male" and "female" and the gender
Gender
Gender is a range of characteristics used to distinguish between males and females, particularly in the cases of men and women and the masculine and feminine attributes assigned to them. Depending on the context, the discriminating characteristics vary from sex to social role to gender identity...

 differences between "boy" and "girl". In the phallic stage, a boy's decisive psychosexual experience is the Oedipus complex
Oedipus complex
In psychoanalytic theory, the term Oedipus complex denotes the emotions and ideas that the mind keeps in the unconscious, via dynamic repression, that concentrate upon a boy’s desire to sexually possess his mother, and kill his father...

, his son–father competition for possession of mother. This psychological complex
Complex (psychology)
A complex is a core pattern of emotions, memories, perceptions, and wishes in the personal unconscious organized around a common theme, such as power or status...

 derives from the 5th-century BC Greek mythologic
Greek mythology
Greek mythology is the body of myths and legends belonging to the ancient Greeks, concerning their gods and heroes, the nature of the world, and the origins and significance of their own cult and ritual practices. They were a part of religion in ancient Greece...

 character Oedipus
Oedipus
Oedipus was a mythical Greek king of Thebes. He fulfilled a prophecy that said he would kill his father and marry his mother, and thus brought disaster on his city and family...

, who unwittingly killed his father, Laius
Laius
In Greek mythology, King Laius, or Laios of Thebes was a divine hero and key personage in the Theban founding myth. Son of Labdacus, he was raised by the regent Lycus after the death of his father.-Abduction of Chrysippus:...

, and sexually possessed his mother, Jocasta
Jocasta
In Greek mythology, Jocasta, also known as Jocaste , Epikastê, or Iokastê was a daughter of Menoeceus and Queen consort of Thebes, Greece. She was the wife of Laius. Wife and mother of Oedipus by Laius, and both mother and grandmother of Antigone, Eteocles, Polynices and Ismene by Oedipus...

. Analogously, in the phallic stage, a girl's decisive psychosexual experience is the Electra complex
Electra complex
In Neo-Freudian psychology, the Electra complex, as proposed by Carl Gustav Jung, is a girl’s psychosexual competition with mother for possession of father. In the course of her psychosexual development, the complex is the girl’s phallic stage formation of a discrete sexual identity; a boy’s...

, her daughter–mother competition for psychosexual possession of father. This psychological complex derives from the 5th-century BC Greek mythologic Electra
Electra
In Greek mythology, Electra was an Argive princess and daughter of King Agamemnon and Queen Clytemnestra. She and her brother Orestes plotted revenge against their mother Clytemnestra and stepfather Aegisthus for the murder of their father Agamemnon...

, who plotted matricidal
Matricide
Matricide is the act of killing one's mother. As for any type of killing, motives can vary significantly.- Known or suspected matricides :* Amastris, queen of Heraclea, was drowned by her two sons in 284 BC....

 revenge with Orestes
Orestes
Orestes was the son of Agamemnon in Greek mythology; Orestes may also refer to:Drama*Orestes , by Euripides*Orestes, the character in Sophocles' tragedy Electra*Orestes, the character in Aeschylus' trilogy of tragedies, Oresteia...

, her brother, against Clytemnestra
Clytemnestra
Clytemnestra or Clytaemnestra , in ancient Greek legend, was the wife of Agamemnon, king of the Ancient Greek kingdom of Mycenae or Argos. In the Oresteia by Aeschylus, she was a femme fatale who murdered her husband, Agamemnon – said by Euripides to be her second husband – and the Trojan princess...

, their mother, and Aegisthus
Aegisthus
In Greek mythology, Aegisthus was the son of Thyestes and of Thyestes' daughter, Pelopia....

, their stepfather, for their murder of Agamemnon
Agamemnon
In Greek mythology, Agamemnon was the son of King Atreus and Queen Aerope of Mycenae, the brother of Menelaus, the husband of Clytemnestra, and the father of Electra and Orestes. Mythical legends make him the king of Mycenae or Argos, thought to be different names for the same area...

, their father, (cf. Electra
Electra (Sophocles)
Electra or Elektra is a Greek tragedy by Sophocles. Its date is not known, but various stylistic similarities with the Philoctetes and the Oedipus at Colonus lead scholars to suppose that it was written towards the end of Sophocles' career.Set in the city of Argos a few years after the Trojan...

, by Sophocles).

Initially, Freud
Sigmund Freud
Sigmund Freud , born Sigismund Schlomo Freud , was an Austrian neurologist who founded the discipline of psychoanalysis...

 equally applied the Oedipus complex to the psychosexual development of boys and girls, but later developed the female aspects of the theory as the feminine Oedipus attitude and the negative Oedipus complex; yet, it was his student–collaborator, Carl Jung
Carl Jung
Carl Gustav Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist and the founder of Analytical Psychology. Jung is considered the first modern psychiatrist to view the human psyche as "by nature religious" and make it the focus of exploration. Jung is one of the best known researchers in the field of dream analysis and...

, who coined the term Electra complex in 1913. Nonetheless, Freud rejected Jung's term as psychoanalytically
Psychoanalysis
Psychoanalysis is a psychological theory developed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud. Psychoanalysis has expanded, been criticized and developed in different directions, mostly by some of Freud's former students, such as Alfred Adler and Carl Gustav...

 inaccurate: "that what we have said about the Oedipus complex applies with complete strictness to the male child only, and that we are right in rejecting the term 'Electra complex', which seeks to emphasize the analogy between the attitude of the two sexes".



Oedipus — Despite mother being the parent who primarily gratifies the child's desires, the child begins forming a discrete sexual identity — "boy", "girl" — that alters the dynamics of the parent and child relationship; the parents become the focus of infantile libidinal
Libido
Libido refers to a person's sex drive or desire for sexual activity. The desire for sex is an aspect of a person's sexuality, but varies enormously from one person to another, and it also varies depending on circumstances at a particular time. A person who has extremely frequent or a suddenly...

 energy. The boy focuses his libido (sexual desire) upon his mother, and focuses jealousy and emotional rivalry against his father — because it is he who sleeps with mother. To facilitate uniting him with his mother, the boy's id wants to kill father (as did Oedipus), but the ego, pragmatically based upon the reality principle
Reality principle
In Freudian psychology, the reality principle is the psychoanalytic concept describing circumstantial reality compelling a man or a woman to defer instant gratification...

, knows that the father is the stronger of the two males competing to possess the one female. Nevertheless, the boy remains ambivalent about his father's place in the family, which is manifested as fear of castration
Castration anxiety
Castration anxiety is the fear of emasculation in both the literal and metaphorical sense.-Literal:Castration anxiety is the conscious or unconscious fear of losing all or part of the sex organs, or the function of such....

 by the physically greater father; the fear is an irrational, subconscious manifestation of the infantile Id.

Electra — Whereas boys develop castration anxiety
Castration anxiety
Castration anxiety is the fear of emasculation in both the literal and metaphorical sense.-Literal:Castration anxiety is the conscious or unconscious fear of losing all or part of the sex organs, or the function of such....

, girls develop penis envy
Penis envy
Penis envy in Freudian psychoanalysis refers to the theorized reaction of a girl during her psychosexual development to the realization that she does not have a penis....

 that is rooted in anatomic fact: without a penis, she cannot sexually possess mother, as the infantile id demands. Resultantly, the girl redirects her desire
Libido
Libido refers to a person's sex drive or desire for sexual activity. The desire for sex is an aspect of a person's sexuality, but varies enormously from one person to another, and it also varies depending on circumstances at a particular time. A person who has extremely frequent or a suddenly...

 for sexual union upon father; thus, she progresses towards heterosexual femininity that culminates in bearing a child who replaces the absent penis
Penis
The penis is a biological feature of male animals including both vertebrates and invertebrates...

. Moreover, after the phallic stage, the girl's psychosexual development includes transferring her primary erogenous zone from the infantile clitoris
Clitoris
The clitoris is a sexual organ that is present only in female mammals. In humans, the visible button-like portion is located near the anterior junction of the labia minora, above the opening of the urethra and vagina. Unlike the penis, which is homologous to the clitoris, the clitoris does not...

 to the adult vagina
Vagina
The vagina is a fibromuscular tubular tract leading from the uterus to the exterior of the body in female placental mammals and marsupials, or to the cloaca in female birds, monotremes, and some reptiles. Female insects and other invertebrates also have a vagina, which is the terminal part of the...

. Freud thus considered a girl's Oedipal conflict to be more emotionally intense than that of a boy, resulting, potentially, in a submissive woman of insecure personality.

Psychologic defense — In both sexes, defense mechanisms provide transitory resolutions of the conflict between the drives of the Id and the drives of the Ego. The first defense mechanism is repression
Repression
Repression may refer to:* Memory inhibition, the ability to filter irrelevant memories from attempts to recall* Political repression, the oppression or persecution of an individual or group for political reasons* Social repression...

, the blocking of memories, emotional impulses, and ideas from the conscious mind; yet it does not resolve the Id–Ego conflict. The second defense mechanism is identification
Identification
Identification or Identify may refer to:* Body identification* Combat Identification* Eyewitness identification* Forensic identification* Gender identity* Hazard Identification...

, by which the child incorporates, to his or her ego, the personality characteristics of the same-sex parent; in so adapting, the boy diminishes his castration anxiety
Castration anxiety
Castration anxiety is the fear of emasculation in both the literal and metaphorical sense.-Literal:Castration anxiety is the conscious or unconscious fear of losing all or part of the sex organs, or the function of such....

, because his likeness to father protects him from father's wrath as a rival for mother; by so adapting, the girl facilitates identifying with mother, who understands that, in being females, neither of them possesses a penis, and thus they are not antagonists.

Dénouement — Unresolved psychosexual competition for the opposite-sex parent might produce a phallic-stage fixation
Fixation (psychology)
Fixation: 'concept originated by Sigmund Freud to denote the persistence of anachronistic sexual traits'. Subsequently '"Fixation" acquired a broader connotation...

 leading a girl to become a woman who continually strives to dominate men (viz. penis envy
Penis envy
Penis envy in Freudian psychoanalysis refers to the theorized reaction of a girl during her psychosexual development to the realization that she does not have a penis....

), either as an unusually seductive woman
Femme fatale
A femme fatale is a mysterious and seductive woman whose charms ensnare her lovers in bonds of irresistible desire, often leading them into compromising, dangerous, and deadly situations. She is an archetype of literature and art...

 (high self-esteem) or as an unusually submissive woman (low self-esteem). In a boy, a phallic-stage fixation might lead him to become an aggressive, over-ambitious, vain man. Therefore, the satisfactory parental handling and resolution of the Oedipus complex
Oedipus complex
In psychoanalytic theory, the term Oedipus complex denotes the emotions and ideas that the mind keeps in the unconscious, via dynamic repression, that concentrate upon a boy’s desire to sexually possess his mother, and kill his father...

 and of the Electra complex
Electra complex
In Neo-Freudian psychology, the Electra complex, as proposed by Carl Gustav Jung, is a girl’s psychosexual competition with mother for possession of father. In the course of her psychosexual development, the complex is the girl’s phallic stage formation of a discrete sexual identity; a boy’s...

 are most important in developing the infantile super-ego, because, by identifying with a parent, the child internalizes morality
Morality
Morality is the differentiation among intentions, decisions, and actions between those that are good and bad . A moral code is a system of morality and a moral is any one practice or teaching within a moral code...

, thereby, choosing to comply with societal rules, rather than having to reflexively comply in fear of punishment.

Latency stage


The fourth stage of psychosexual development is the latency stage that spans from the age of six years until puberty
Puberty
Puberty is the process of physical changes by which a child's body matures into an adult body capable of reproduction, as initiated by hormonal signals from the brain to the gonads; the ovaries in a girl, the testes in a boy...

, wherein the child consolidates the character habits he or she developed in the three, earlier stages of psychologic and sexual development. Whether or not the child has successfully resolved the Oedipal conflict
Oedipus complex
In psychoanalytic theory, the term Oedipus complex denotes the emotions and ideas that the mind keeps in the unconscious, via dynamic repression, that concentrate upon a boy’s desire to sexually possess his mother, and kill his father...

, the instinctual drives of the id are inaccessible to the Ego, because his or her defense mechanisms repressed them during the phallic stage. Hence, because said drives are latent (hidden) and gratification is delayed — unlike during the preceding oral, anal, and phallic stages — the child must derive the pleasure of gratification from secondary process-thinking that directs the libidinal drives towards external activities, such as schooling, friendships, hobbies, et cetera. Any neuroses
Neurosis
Neurosis is a class of functional mental disorders involving distress but neither delusions nor hallucinations, whereby behavior is not outside socially acceptable norms. It is also known as psychoneurosis or neurotic disorder, and thus those suffering from it are said to be neurotic...

 established during the fourth, latent stage, of psychosexual development might derive from the inadequate resolution either of the Oedipus conflict or of the Ego's failure to direct his or her energies towards socially acceptable activities.

Genital stage


The fifth stage of psychosexual development is the genital stage
Genital stage
The genital stage in psychology is the term used by Sigmund Freud to describe the final stage of human psychosexual development. This stage begins at the start of puberty when sexual urges are once again awakened. Through the lessons learned during the previous stages, adolescents direct their...

 that spans puberty
Puberty
Puberty is the process of physical changes by which a child's body matures into an adult body capable of reproduction, as initiated by hormonal signals from the brain to the gonads; the ovaries in a girl, the testes in a boy...

 and adult life, and thus occupies most of the life of a man and of a woman; its purpose is the psychologic detachment and independence from the parents. The genital stage affords the person the ability to confront and resolve his or her remaining psychosexual childhood conflicts. As in the phallic stage, the genital stage is centered upon the genitalia, but the sexuality is consensual and adult, rather than solitary and infantile. The psychological difference between the phallic and genital stages is that the ego is established in the latter; the person's concern shifts from primary-drive gratification (instinct) to applying secondary process-thinking to gratify desire symbolically and intellectually
Intellectualism
Intellectualism denotes the use and development of the intellect, the practice of being an intellectual, and of holding intellectual pursuits in great regard. Moreover, in philosophy, “intellectualism” occasionally is synonymous with “rationalism”, i.e. knowledge derived mostly from reason and...

 by means of friendships, a love relationship, family and adult responsibilities.

Scientific


A usual criticism of the scientific (experimental
Scientific method
Scientific method refers to a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on gathering empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of...

) validity of the Freudian psychology
Ego psychology
Ego psychology is a school of psychoanalysis rooted in Sigmund Freud's structural id-ego-superego model of the mind.An individual interacts with the external world as well as responds to internal forces. Many psychoanalysts use a theoretical construct called the ego to explain how that is done...

 theory of human psychosexual development is that Sigmund Freud
Sigmund Freud
Sigmund Freud , born Sigismund Schlomo Freud , was an Austrian neurologist who founded the discipline of psychoanalysis...

 (1856–1939) was personally fixated
Fixation (psychology)
Fixation: 'concept originated by Sigmund Freud to denote the persistence of anachronistic sexual traits'. Subsequently '"Fixation" acquired a broader connotation...

 upon human sexuality
Human sexuality
Human sexuality is the awareness of gender differences, and the capacity to have erotic experiences and responses. Human sexuality can also be described as the way someone is sexually attracted to another person whether it is to opposite sexes , to the same sex , to either sexes , or not being...

, therefore, he favored defining human development
Developmental psychology
Developmental psychology, also known as human development, is the scientific study of systematic psychological changes, emotional changes, and perception changes that occur in human beings over the course of their life span. Originally concerned with infants and children, the field has expanded to...

 with a normative
Normative
Normative has specialized contextual meanings in several academic disciplines. Generically, it means relating to an ideal standard or model. In practice, it has strong connotations of relating to a typical standard or model ....

 theory of psychologic and sexual development. Hence, the phallic stage
Phallic stage
In Freudian psychology, the Phallic stage is the third stage of psychosexual development, spanning the ages of three to six years, wherein the infant’s libido centers upon his or her genitalia as the erogenous zone...

 proved controversial, for being based upon clinical observations of the Oedipus complex
Oedipus complex
In psychoanalytic theory, the term Oedipus complex denotes the emotions and ideas that the mind keeps in the unconscious, via dynamic repression, that concentrate upon a boy’s desire to sexually possess his mother, and kill his father...

.

In Analysis of a Phobia in a Five-year-old Boy (1909), the case study of the boy "Little Hans" (Herbert Graf, 1903–73) who was afflicted with equinophobia
Equinophobia
Equinophobia or hippophobia is a psychological fear of horses, derived from the Greek word 'Phobos', meaning fear and the Latin word 'Equus', meaning horse...

, the relation between Hans's fears - of horses and of father - derived from external factors such as the birth of his sister, and internal factors like the desire of the infantile id to replace father as companion to mother, as well as guilt
Guilt
Guilt is the state of being responsible for the commission of an offense. It is also a cognitive or an emotional experience that occurs when a person realizes or believes—accurately or not—that he or she has violated a moral standard, and bears significant responsibility for that...

 for enjoying the masturbation
Masturbation
Masturbation refers to sexual stimulation of a person's own genitals, usually to the point of orgasm. The stimulation can be performed manually, by use of objects or tools, or by some combination of these methods. Masturbation is a common form of autoeroticism...

 normal to a boy of his age. Moreover, his admitting to wanting to procreate with mother was considered proof of the boy's sexual attraction
Libido
Libido refers to a person's sex drive or desire for sexual activity. The desire for sex is an aspect of a person's sexuality, but varies enormously from one person to another, and it also varies depending on circumstances at a particular time. A person who has extremely frequent or a suddenly...

 to the opposite-sex parent; he was a heterosexual male. Yet, the boy Hans was unable to relate fearing horses to fearing his father. The psychoanalyst
Psychoanalysis
Psychoanalysis is a psychological theory developed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud. Psychoanalysis has expanded, been criticized and developed in different directions, mostly by some of Freud's former students, such as Alfred Adler and Carl Gustav...

 Freud noted that "Hans had to be told many things that he could not say himself" and that "he had to be presented with thoughts, which he had, so far, shown no signs of possessing".

Feminist


Contemporaneously, Sigmund Freud's psychosexual development theory is criticized as sexist, because it was informed with his introspection (self-analysis). To integrate the female libido
Libido
Libido refers to a person's sex drive or desire for sexual activity. The desire for sex is an aspect of a person's sexuality, but varies enormously from one person to another, and it also varies depending on circumstances at a particular time. A person who has extremely frequent or a suddenly...

 (sexual desire) to psychosexual development, he proposed that girls develop "penis envy
Penis envy
Penis envy in Freudian psychoanalysis refers to the theorized reaction of a girl during her psychosexual development to the realization that she does not have a penis....

". In response, the German Neo-Freudian
Neo-Freudian
The Neo-Freudian psychiatrists and psychologists were a group of loosely linked American theorists of the mid-twentieth century, who were all influenced by Sigmund Freud, but who extended his theories, often in social or cultural directions...

 psychoanalyst Karen Horney
Karen Horney
Karen Horney born Danielsen was a German-American psychoanalyst. Her theories questioned some traditional Freudian views, particularly his theory of sexuality, as well as the instinct orientation of psychoanalysis and its genetic psychology...

, counter-proposed that girls instead develop "Power envy", rather than penis envy. She further proposed the concept of "womb and vagina envy
Womb and vagina envy
In Feminist psychology the terms womb envy and vagina envy denote the unexpressed anxiety that some men feel in natural envy of the biological functions of women — emotions which impel their social subordination of women, and to drive themselves to succeed in perpetuating their names via material...

", the male's envy of the female ability to bear children; yet, contemporary formulations further develop said envy from the biologic (child-bearing) to the psychologic (nurturance), envy of women's perceived right to be the kind parent.

Anthropologic



Contemporary criticism also questions the universality of the Freudian
Ego psychology
Ego psychology is a school of psychoanalysis rooted in Sigmund Freud's structural id-ego-superego model of the mind.An individual interacts with the external world as well as responds to internal forces. Many psychoanalysts use a theoretical construct called the ego to explain how that is done...

 theory of personality (Id, Ego, Super-ego) discussed in the essay On Narcissism
On Narcissism
On Narcissism was a 1914 essay by Sigmund Freud, widely considered an introduction to Freud's theories of narcissism.In this paper, Freud sums up his earlier discussions on the subject of narcissism and considers its place in sexual development...

 (1917), wherein he said that "it is impossible to suppose that a unity, comparable to the ego can exist in the individual from the very start". Contemporary cultural considerations have questioned the normative presumptions of the Freudian psychodynamic perspective that posits the son–father conflict of the Oedipal complex as universal and essential to human psychologic development.

The anthropologist Bronisław Malinowski's studies of the Trobriand islanders
Trobriand Islands
The Trobriand Islands are a 450 km² archipelago of coral atolls off the eastern coast of New Guinea. They are situated in Milne Bay Province in Papua New Guinea. Most of the population of 12,000 indigenous inhabitants live on the main island of Kiriwina, which is also the location of the...

 challenged the Freudian proposal that psychosexual development (e.g. the Oedipus complex) was universal. He reported that in the insular matriarchal society of the Trobriand, boys are disciplined by their maternal uncles, not their fathers; impartial, avuncular discipline. In Sex and Repression in Savage Society
Sex and Repression in Savage Society
Sex and Repression in Savage Society is a 1927 book by anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski. It is considered "a famous critique of psychoanalysis, arguing that the 'Oedipus complex' described by Freud is not universal." Malinowski gives a partial explanation of the role of sex in social...

 (1927), Malinowski reported that boys dreamed of feared uncles, not of beloved fathers, thus, Power — not sexual jealousy — is the source of Oedipal conflict in such non–Western societies. In Human Behavior in Global Perspective: an Introduction to Cross-Cultural Psychology (1999), Marshall H. Segall et al. propose that Freud based the theory of psychosexual development upon a misinterpretation. Furthermore, contemporary research confirms that although personality traits corresponding to the oral stage, the anal stage, the phallic stage, the latent stage, and the genital stage are observable, they remain undetermined as fixed stages of childhood, and as adult personality traits derived from childhood..

See also

  • Herma
    Herma
    A Herma, commonly in English herm is a sculpture with a head, and perhaps a torso, above a plain, usually squared lower section, on which male genitals may also be carved at the appropriate height...

  • Min (god)
    Min (god)
    Min is an Ancient Egyptian god whose cult originated in predynastic times . He was represented in many different forms, but was often represented in male human form, shown with an erect penis which he holds in his left hand and an upheld right arm holding a flail...

  • Fertility
    Fertility
    Fertility is the natural capability of producing offsprings. As a measure, "fertility rate" is the number of children born per couple, person or population. Fertility differs from fecundity, which is defined as the potential for reproduction...

  • Bacchanalia
    Bacchanalia
    The bacchanalia were wild and mystic festivals of the Greco-Roman god Bacchus , the wine god. The term has since come to describe any form of drunken revelry.-History:...

  • Vanir
    Vanir
    In Norse mythology, the Vanir are a group of gods associated with fertility, wisdom and the ability to see the future. The Vanir are one of two groups of gods and are the namesake of the location Vanaheimr . After the Æsir–Vanir War, the Vanir became a subgroup of the Æsir...

  • Priapus
    Priapus
    In Greek mythology, Priapus or Priapos , was a minor rustic fertility god, protector of livestock, fruit plants, gardens and male genitalia. Priapus is marked by his absurdly oversized, permanent erection, which gave rise to the medical term priapism...

  • Sigmund Freud
    Sigmund Freud
    Sigmund Freud , born Sigismund Schlomo Freud , was an Austrian neurologist who founded the discipline of psychoanalysis...