Freud

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Freud (1905) proposed psychological development in childhood takes place in a series of fixed stages. The Oedipus Complex occurs in the phallic stage at around 5 years old in boys, in this stage the focus is on the genitals, as a child becomes aware of its gender.
Children feel like they are excluded from some aspects of their parents life, this is know as the Oedipus complex.
Freud believed that boys had an unconscious wish to kill their father and marry their mother, h e fears that if his father finds out he will castrate him leading to anxiety this anxiety is resolved by identifying with the father, and so becoming as like his father as possible, including gender behaviour Girls enter the Elektra complex. This starts with the realization that they have no penis. This leads them to believe that they have been castrated, something for which they blame their mother.
Because she has no penis the girl sees herself as powerless, and wishes that she had one (penis envy). She starts to desire her father, because he has one and becomes jealous and hostile towards her mother, mirroring the Oedipus complex in boys.
Little Hans (1909) illustrates Freud’s ideas about the Oedipus complex, however there are limitstions with the case. Hans’ father who provided freud with evidence was already familiar with the Oedipus Complex and interpreted the case in light of this. Another issue is that freud ignored a more explanation for Hans’ fear of horses. – he had witnessed the sight of a white horse collapsing and dying.
Further criticism of the psychodynamic approach would include that it suggests that the child’s gender identity is absent before the age of about three and not fully formed until the age of about five or six. However, children start to show gender-based preferences for toys as early as one year old, and usually have clear ideas about their own gender identity by the age of three, which obviously conflicts with Freud’s theory. It

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