frued's deveolmental stages Essay

Submitted By brebremom
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The Psychosexual Stages define how human personality develops from birth to early adulthood. Freud believed that children experience unconscious sexual fixations as they grow in age. These sexual urges change drastically with each stage. Without proper resolution following each stage, we may experience faults in our future personalities according to Freud. In this stage, the first of five, encompassing children from birth to 1, the infant's primary source of interaction occurs through the mouth, so the rooting and sucking reflex is especially important. The mouth is vital for eating and the infant experiences pleasure from oral stimulation through gratifying activities such as tasting and sucking. The mouth is the infant’s primary erogenous zone, meaning that the oral cavity is where libido energy is most focused. The infant gains pleasure through sucking and eating; the child ultimately develops a sense of comfort through oral stimulation. However, the primary conflict at this stage is the weaning process the child eventually must become less dependent on caretakers as it grows. In theory, an infant who is neglected (under-fed) or overprotected (over-fed) may become orally fixated with the onset of adulthood. If fixation occurs at this stage, Freud believed the individual would have issues with dependency or aggression.
During the anal stage, the second of Freud’s five stages this begins near the age of 1 and goes till about 3. The erogenous zone shifts from the oral cavity to the anal region with the realization that going to the bathroom is a pleasurable event. Freud believed that the primary focus of the libido was on controlling bladder and bowel movements. The major conflict at this stage is toilet training--the child has to learn to control his or her bodily needs. Developing this control leads to a sense of accomplishment and independence. According to Freud, success at this stage is dependent upon the way in which parents approach toilet training. Parents who utilize praise and rewards for using the toilet at the appropriate time encourage positive outcomes and help children feel capable and productive. Freud believed that positive experiences during this stage served as the basis for people to become competent, productive and creative adults.
The most intricate is the third of the five stages; the phallic stages covering 3to 6 years of age. Primary focus of the libido is on the genital erogenous zones shifting from the anus to the genitals. At this age, children also begin to discover the differences between males and females. Freud also believed that boys begin to view their fathers as a rival for the mother’s affections. The Oedipus complex describes these feelings of wanting to possess the mother and the desire to replace the father. However, the child also fears that he will be punished by the father for these feelings, a fear Freud termed castration anxiety. The term Electra complex has been used to describe a similar set of feelings experienced by young girls. Eventually, the child begins to identify with the same-sex parent as a means of vicariously possessing the other parent. For girls, however, Freud believed that Electra complex was never fully resolved and that all women remain somewhat fixated on this stage. Psychologists such as Karen Horney disputed this theory, calling it both inaccurate and…