Day: September 19, 2017

Sigmund Freud’s Psychosexual Development Theory

Sigmund Freud’s Psychosexual Development Theory

Freud is known as the father of psychology. Although some of his work has been dismissed, most of it still holds weight in the world of psychology today. Freud believed that inner forces fueled human development. He believed the most powerful of all inner forces was our sexual being. Freud linked everything with sex. This includes any bodily pleasure whatsoever. Thus, when Freud discusses the sexual needs of children, they are not the Hartenstine 2 same kind of sexual needs that an adult would experience. Children experienced sexual gratification in different ways.

Sucking their thumbs or retaining their excrement could be seen as sexual gratification for small children. Freud also specified certain areas of our body as erogenous zones. Those areas included the mouth and genitals. This all fit in to Freud’s obsession with sex. An obsession that could be linked to the era that Freud lived in. It was a very conservative period in history. Sexual feelings were often repressed. Freud’s theory on human development could be labeled the psychosexual stages of development. Freud believed human beings passed through different stages in their life based on which part of their body gratified them.

Freud’s psychosexual stages of development are five in total. The Oral stage takes place from birth to about one year. During this stage, a child is orally oriented. The mouth is the child’s erogenous zone. Everything a child touches is put in his mouth. Freud believes children do this because it gives them pleasure. When a child sucks his thumb, it does so because it gratifies them. According to Freud, the gratification is sexual. The second stage in Freud’s psychosexual development theory takes place between the ages of two and three years of age. The erogenous zone shifts location, thus moving from one stage to another.

The second erogenous zone in Freud’s stages of human development is the anal region. Freud believes children Hartenstine 3 experience sexual gratification during bowel movements and when they withhold bowel movements. Some children may even experience pleasure handling, looking at, or thinking about their own feces. Once the Anal stage of development has been completed, the next stage of development for Freud is the Phallic Stage. This usually occurs at about three years of age. The shift in erogenous zones moves from the anal region to the genital organs.

This stage is also known as the Oedipal Stage of psychosexual development. This name comes from the legendary king, Oedipus, who killed his father and married his mother. During this stage, children take interest in their sexual organs. Soon they notice differences and similarities between themselves and their parents. Each sex wants to be with the parent of the other sex, for girls this is referred to as the elektra complex. Once the children realize they can not be with their mother or father, they identify with the parent of the same sex. The next stage is called the stage of Latency.

A lack of change or absence of erogenous zones characterizes this stage. After the realization that the child can not be with a parent sexually, the child shifts its attention to same-sexed relationships. Boys will shift their sexual urges and drives to something acceptable, such as sports. This is a time of relative calm. The last stage of Freud’s psychosexual development is the Genital Stage. The erogenous zone returns in a very powerful Hartenstine 4 way in the genital organs. This stage takes place from puberty into adulthood. True sexual desire and sexual relationships mark this stage.