While reading the Lilienfeld textbook this week, the topic that I could not stop thinking about was Freud's Stages of Psychosexual Development. This theory describes the process that children go through and must complete in order to become sexually mature. Each stage is defined by which part of the body is subjected to sexual arousal. The first stage, oral, focuses on the mouth and the second stage, anal, focuses on toilet training. The third stage, phallic, is the one that I find the most interesting. This focuses on the Oedipus complex for males or the Electra complex for females. In both of these situations, the child is sexually attracted to the parent of the opposite sex and feels the need to challenge the other parent of the same sex. The theory rounds out with the latency state where sexual impulses lie dormant and the genital stage where sexual impulses mature into romantic attraction.
The third stage, Phallic, is the stage that I have the most difficultly believing happens for everyone. The Greek tragedy of Oedipus is just that, as in very thing that can go wrong happens to him, not that it happens to everyone. But yet, Freud also focused on the subconscious, which means that according to him, this happens to all of us, but none of us remember it. It is very interesting to think about how Freud believes that we have to go through all of these stages before we are mentally capable of having a serious romantic relationship.
Freud's stages of psychosexual development are really important to study, because many of his ideas have greatly influenced society as well as further research into psychology. Freud's ideas are so difficult to falsify that they have been around for so long and for the most part generally accepted, even if there many problems with them.