Sigmund Freud's Theory of Psychosexual Development

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Although this may not be the most useful theory in psychology, Sigmund Freud's ideas about psychosexual development are very interesting and memorable. This theory is a bit controversial and believed to be pseudoscientific, but Freud thought of it as a way to explain personality development through a series of stages around the erogenous zones. Freud believed that infants experienced sexuality, and without sexual gratification, children could become fixated on a certain stage. The first stage is the oral stage, which focuses on sexual pleasure in the mouth. Infants satisfy themselves with drinking and sucking. The second stage is the anal stage. Children are able to experience pleasure by moving their bowels. This also teaches them to learn to do so at the appropriate time and place. The next step, the Phallic stage, focuses on the child's genitals. The child will become sexually attracted to the opposite sex parent, and feel a rivalry with the same sex parent. For boys this is the Oedipus complex and for girls it is the Electra complex. This part of Freud's theory is the most criticized. The Latency stage is next, during which sexual impulses occur unconsciously. The final stage is the genital stage and sexual impulses become conscious again and mature romantic relationships are possible. These different steps are one of Freud's most interesting theories. However, the lack of research and evidence makes most modern psychologists skeptical.


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I also found this concept interesting...mostly because it was just really strange to think about a baby having sexual gratification. I can see why this theory was greatly rejected in the psychology world.

Freud's theory is something I started to learn in high school and I found it pretty interesting and ridiculous! I find some of it very hard to believe but some of it makes sense. Babies are obsessed with putting things in their mouth so maybe the oral stage has some basis? It is all very interesting even if it is radical.

I found this concept to be interesting as well, especially the Phallic stage. Initially this weirded me out a bit, mostly because of the idea of a child becoming sexually attracted to their parent of the opposite sex. Then I began to wonder what happens in single parent families where the parent and child are of the same sex? Does the child still experience this sexual desire? I can see how this concept can seem skeptical to psychologists.

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This page contains a single entry by kinc0027 published on April 29, 2012 11:24 PM.

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