Freud's Theory of Development - the Oedipus Complex

Topics: Sigmund Freud, Phallic stage, Oral stage Pages: 2 (530 words) Published: February 22, 2006
Freud's Theory of Development – the Oedipus Complex
Oedipus complex is one of the stages in Sigmund Freud's theory of sexual development. Freud's theory actually describes four stages of development: oral, anal, phallic, and the Oedipus complex. All of these stages are necessary for proper development of the child. The Oedipus complex is one of the most interesting though because of its description of the family structure.

The first three stages of sexual development make up the foundation for the last phase, the Oedipus complex. The child is born with what is called polymorphous perversity, where every event that it experiences is sexual. This polymorphous perversity begins with the first stage: oral. During this phase the child senses a sexual experience while feeding from the mother's breast. At this point the child develops an object-cathexis which is later intensified during the Oedipus complex stage. Then as the child gets a little older it enters the next stage, which is anal development. The child learns to control their bowels and therefore reaches a certain level of independence. After this comes the phallic stage where the child gets a bit more older and realizes the difference between the sexes, or simply put he figures out that his mother the doesn't have a penis. After all of these phases have been passed the child begins the last and most important stage called the Oedipus complex. This stage is so crucial that Freud credits any future disorder to a malfunction in the transitional phase between the Oedipus complex stage and the earlier stages of sexual development.

In the Oedipus complex phase the male child "…develops an object cathexis for his mother, which originally related to the mother's breast ..." (26). His mother becomes the love-object meanwhile "the boy deals with his father by identifying himself with him. For a time these two relationships proceed side by side until the boy's sexual wishes in regard to his mother become more...
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