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Stages of psychosexual development

Freud believed that personality develops during early childhood: Childhood experiences shape our personalities as well as our behavior as adults. He asserted that we develop via a series of stages during childhood. Each of us must pass through these childhood stages, and if we do not have the proper nurturing and parenting during a stage, we will be stuck, or fixated, in that stage, even as adults.

In each psychosexual stage of development , the child’s pleasure-seeking urges, coming from the id, are focused on a different area of the body, called an erogenous zone. The stages are oral, anal, phallic, latency, and genital ( [link] ).

Freud’s psychosexual development theory is quite controversial. To understand the origins of the theory, it is helpful to be familiar with the political, social, and cultural influences of Freud’s day in Vienna at the turn of the 20th century. During this era, a climate of sexual repression, combined with limited understanding and education surrounding human sexuality, heavily influenced Freud’s perspective. Given that sex was a taboo topic, Freud assumed that negative emotional states (neuroses) stemmed from suppression of unconscious sexual and aggressive urges. For Freud, his own recollections and interpretations of patients’ experiences and dreams were sufficient proof that psychosexual stages were universal events in early childhood.

Freud’s stages of psychosexual development
Stage Age (years) Erogenous Zone Major Conflict Adult Fixation Example
Oral 0–1 Mouth Weaning off breast or bottle Smoking, overeating
Anal 1–3 Anus Toilet training Neatness, messiness
Phallic 3–6 Genitals Oedipus/Electra complex Vanity, overambition
Latency 6–12 None None None
Genital 12+ Genitals None None

Oral stage

In the oral stage    (birth to 1 year), pleasure is focused on the mouth. Eating and the pleasure derived from sucking (nipples, pacifiers, and thumbs) play a large part in a baby’s first year of life. At around 1 year of age, babies are weaned from the bottle or breast, and this process can create conflict if not handled properly by caregivers. According to Freud, an adult who smokes, drinks, overeats, or bites her nails is fixated in the oral stage of her psychosexual development; she may have been weaned too early or too late, resulting in these fixation tendencies, all of which seek to ease anxiety.

Anal stage

After passing through the oral stage, children enter what Freud termed the anal stage    (1–3 years). In this stage, children experience pleasure in their bowel and bladder movements, so it makes sense that the conflict in this stage is over toilet training. Freud suggested that success at the anal stage depended on how parents handled toilet training. Parents who offer praise and rewards encourage positive results and can help children feel competent. Parents who are harsh in toilet training can cause a child to become fixated at the anal stage, leading to the development of an anal-retentive personality. The anal-retentive personality is stingy and stubborn, has a compulsive need for order and neatness, and might be considered a perfectionist. If parents are too lenient in toilet training, the child might also become fixated and display an anal-expulsive personality. The anal-expulsive personality is messy, careless, disorganized, and prone to emotional outbursts.

Phallic stage

Freud’s third stage of psychosexual development is the phallic stage    (3–6 years), corresponding to the age when children become aware of their bodies and recognize the differences between boys and girls. The erogenous zone in this stage is the genitals. Conflict arises when the child feels a desire for the opposite-sex parent, and jealousy and hatred toward the same-sex parent. For boys, this is called the Oedipus complex, involving a boy's desire for his mother and his urge to replace his father who is seen as a rival for the mother’s attention. At the same time, the boy is afraid his father will punish him for his feelings, so he experiences castration anxiety . The Oedipus complex is successfully resolved when the boy begins to identify with his father as an indirect way to have the mother. Failure to resolve the Oedipus complex may result in fixation and development of a personality that might be described as vain and overly ambitious.

Girls experience a comparable conflict in the phallic stage—the Electra complex. The Electra complex, while often attributed to Freud, was actually proposed by Freud’s protégé, Carl Jung (Jung&Kerenyi, 1963). A girl desires the attention of her father and wishes to take her mother’s place. Jung also said that girls are angry with the mother for not providing them with a penis—hence the term penis envy . While Freud initially embraced the Electra complex as a parallel to the Oedipus complex, he later rejected it, yet it remains as a cornerstone of Freudian theory, thanks in part to academics in the field (Freud, 1931/1968; Scott, 2005).

Latency period

Following the phallic stage of psychosexual development is a period known as the latency period    (6 years to puberty). This period is not considered a stage, because sexual feelings are dormant as children focus on other pursuits, such as school, friendships, hobbies, and sports. Children generally engage in activities with peers of the same sex, which serves to consolidate a child’s gender-role identity.

Genital stage

The final stage is the genital stage    (from puberty on). In this stage, there is a sexual reawakening as the incestuous urges resurface. The young person redirects these urges to other, more socially acceptable partners (who often resemble the other-sex parent). People in this stage have mature sexual interests, which for Freud meant a strong desire for the opposite sex. Individuals who successfully completed the previous stages, reaching the genital stage with no fixations, are said to be well-balanced, healthy adults.

While most of Freud’s ideas have not found support in modern research, we cannot discount the contributions that Freud has made to the field of psychology. It was Freud who pointed out that a large part of our mental life is influenced by the experiences of early childhood and takes place outside of our conscious awareness; his theories paved the way for others.

Summary

Sigmund Freud presented the first comprehensive theory of personality. He was also the first to recognize that much of our mental life takes place outside of our conscious awareness. Freud also proposed three components to our personality: the id, ego, and superego. The job of the ego is to balance the sexual and aggressive drives of the id with the moral ideal of the superego. Freud also said that personality develops through a series of psychosexual stages. In each stage, pleasure focuses on a specific erogenous zone. Failure to resolve a stage can lead one to become fixated in that stage, leading to unhealthy personality traits. Successful resolution of the stages leads to a healthy adult.

Personal application questions

What are some examples of defense mechanisms that you have used yourself or have witnessed others using?

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Questions & Answers

Define perception of human nature and its significance
Aslam Reply
Psychology is important for different programs to study because of its ability to build students critical thinking and by so doing, improve their ability to sieve information, thereby improving overall learning outcomes
Vincent Reply
I have a question about sex addiction how can you tell someone would have sex with anything like child man woman old young even an animal I have a feeling the guy I'm with is someone that could do anything because he has no self control and he is a narcissist that also has a addition to meth..
Alexis Reply
How did you get to meet this guy
Wayne
hello may i ask How long have you been seeing this guy and what kind of signs were givin to come to this conclusion,? along with what you've shared on top here?
Jo
Facebook but we had the same friends but never met before but have been together for 5 years and its been hell I now have PTSD and now no intrest in doing what I love because he puts me down for doing so or makes me feel stupid for feeling the way I do about things
Alexis
been together for 5 years things were good at first he was really nice if I needed something he made sure to get it but once I moved I with him he started calling me names but once we got our own place he got abusive and pretty much had me as a prisoner in my own home
Alexis
also when he gets high he gets very turned on to the point he would masturbate several times a day only time we would have sex is if I was asleep or we would fight to the point of abusing each other then he would want to have sex but he also seemed to be very weird around kids
Alexis
but if sober he wanted nothing to do with him he would actually make me take my brother to my mother's room and not let him come out and play with his toys also I had my son asleep in his room with the TV and night light on seth said he was going to get a shower well the water was on I thought he
Alexis
it sounds like this guys is someone who can be very dangerous if under the influence. I highly recommend getting yourself and children away from him. He may seem like a nice guy but in my limited experience its better to play it safe not only for your own safety but especially for the children.
April
you gotta leave the relationship.. it sounds like it won't end so well and the fact that he's using meth; that alone is a very huge red flag
GL
I agree with GL Rocketeer
April
yes I do also but I want to think it's just the drugs but he still is very one sided and not caring of others feelings
Alexis
one thing I could share with u from individuals ive spoken wit is that a person who smokes or especially runs it becomes extremely "turned on" and or to the point were they'll masturbate or seek outside their relationship to satisfy their wants or needs. so honestly i dont think its a bad I idea...
Jo
fr them in this situation out of his sight,out of his mind!-
Jo
so yea id agree, pick up and flee! Good luck in your situation and may God protect u and yours during this time!
Jo
thanks you guys I've asked for advice from family but no one actually listened to me and just pushed it aside
Alexis
I also agree wit miss april, about methin around wit this guy, and already abused u already kno wat ones capable of. theroriticly if one day he looses his sack or been up for few days to were sleep deprivation begins to alter his jugment and emotions , possibilitys Are high, and could hurt someone
Jo
it is better to make a plan, get everything ready. Then make your move, if it is drug out over time and this guy still has access to you. He will try to convince you he will change and stop. He will agree with everything you say to make you believe him. it will be lies.
Admin
gestalt theory of learning with example sultan
Rohit
A friend of mine experiences homicidal thoughts. She doesn't believe she would act upon it, but it definitely happens more than the average person (which, most people at least in one point in their lives experience homicidal thoughts). She is a diagnosed sociopath.
Corrupt Reply
Mostly I feel she would need a hobby or a purpose in life.. Finding determination to achieve something is tough for some people already, in your friend's condition it's even more challenging
Samrat
Friends and family are important support system.. She also has to reach out for help
Samrat
how can you calm yourself when in distress.. i cant simply calm my nerves with breathing.. negative result
Nicki Reply
Depending on the severity of said distress it depends on how extensive your feelings of anxiety & panic are. So the most universally applicable "safe method", would be to attempt to change subjects, as in doing something possibly unrelated to keep busy mentally
Miguel
If that's not sufficient enough aside from the plethora of other alternatives I'm sure you've probably searched online. I'd like to understand a little better how "difficult" things become? Hyperventilating? Feeling like a heartattack? Or just overwhelming apprehension, worry, etc?
Miguel
what kind of distress? And how do you get a negative result from breathing?
iWasHacked
i feel worry, hyperventilating.. i cant control my breathing sometimes.. my bad past shows up, then i stupidly doubting myself a lot.. cant even look ppl in the eye n lock myself in my room. i try the breathing methods on google but it doesn't work, maybe i need someone to help me. such a pussy
Nicki
how the hell did this conversation get on my messages
mauReeN
meesages
mauReeN
idk
Nicki
I'm still trying to figure out what this is exactly.
Jonah
I have problems with hyperventilating as well so I can understand, so usually when I'm having an episode like that I concentrate intently on one object (ex. the floor, its design, the details in it, how it feels under my hands, etc).
iWasHacked
The Last time I had an episode it got intense enough where my extremites went numb and tingly and I couldnt see straight(probably close to fainting) with an intense pressure in my head and I had focused on the way the floor felt under my hands(stimulation helps).
iWasHacked
even though I couldnt really feel much but I had calmed down. Another thing that could possibly help is reciting over and over in your head if you are able to "I'm ok, just calm down,everything is fine you are going to be ok, you are safe breathe in and then out" this is usally what i do on the mild
iWasHacked
cases when I am just starting but when the hyperventilating gets intense freaking out from the loss of feeling is i think normal but its important to try and stay calm and try some stimulation for distraction. Other times my mother has helped to calm me down a lot, she usually was the one to help me
iWasHacked
so maybe ask for somebody to talk to you in that situation to distract your mind. Another thing I find is its best to sit down on your knees on the floor because if you faint you dont want to hit your head and usually when hyperventilating I surely cannot stand up straight so its just easier
iWasHacked
and you'll have one less thing to worry about in that situation. I really hope one of these can help you, its a very stressful situation and I really hope you can find some peace. Just remember that because something works for somebody else does not mean it will work for you so don't get upset if
iWasHacked
these dont help you just keep looking for something that works for you. You could also try some meditation outside of your episodes and maybe incorporate the meditation when you hyperventilate? Good luck!💛
iWasHacked
sorry for so many comments it wouldnt let me put it all in one comment lmao. Hope it helps.
iWasHacked
12345
Graced
I feel anticipating the situation and knowing that it could've been worse, can calm you down.. you basically need to be okay with whatever life throws at you and think ahead
Samrat
how do you get someone to stop smoking marijuana
Eduardo Reply
you dont ..They need to want it for them self no one can make anything they don't want..They need to learn to have self control to live with out it..
Barrera
anyone**
Barrera
I lost 32 lbs in 6 weeks because all I could do was dry heave. Don't judge someone when you know nothing about them or their struggles
Tara
first you need to pinpoint why they are using it. There may be a health motive behind it.. if so marijuana is the most natural form of any pain relief available. It has several health benefits depending on the user and purposes.
Even
I get someone from smoking marijuana when I look at the bad side of it
austin
you know guys marijuana is a med but all meds will be bad if youll use it exessively
facts
Anxiety is why I stopped
Gianni
First question is. Why are you wanting to get somebody to quit? It could be purely their choice even knowing the side affects and if that's so you cant really do anything. Last, how long has this person been smoking and why is he or she smoking?
iWasHacked
What are some usual cognitive behavioral therapy routines for people dealing with addiction? More specifically, a case of a 21 y.o man with a comorbidity of marijuana addiction, addiction to sexual fantasy & pleasure, and an addiction to food. If you guys could help, I would appreciate it :)
Eduardo Reply
what does marijuana do in the body of a person?
austin
What's the best way to keep ur cool when in a relationship, when u have a short temper for people playing dumb, insulting your intelligence as if they really think u r believing the crap there telling u? I mean its soooo aggravating for someone like me not to have broke him in half already but I want to do all I can to help him cuz I love him and I'm learning all I can to help us both
Todd Reply
Pepole need to want change on there own, by u keep helping you are becoming an enabler.. Live by example and others will fallow..
Barrera
i'd say the relationship isn't healthy. if he is aware that he is hurting you by insulting you, than he does it to assert power. I'd say a healthy relationship needs to have an equal say in everything. In relationships, you often have to rely on the other. if he isnt there, take it as a sign.
Eduardo
you sho right Eduardo, anger can be controlled, it takes patience, strong mind and instantaneous thinking to, but from experience i believe narcacissm could be a factor! they tend to deny the fact of recognizing their faults to avoid the shame label, and so on...
Jo
He hits me starts fights then wonders why I stay away from h im.Right now I have no where be to go.I starting to get physically ill from the stress.Plus he never takes me anywhere and I left her by myself all the time.I never see people unless it's his friends.I know it's not good for me.I am alon
Vicki
For me How do I cope find inner peace.I cry all the time.
Vicki
Hello everyone.
Jonah
To find inner peace seek God 100% believe and you will never be the same again like crying all the time because that's what the devil wants from you and don't stuck up like just cry, be depressed it's just an example move forward not reverse and think & do with all your might the things that could
mary
possibly go right if you just conquer it with a burning desire, just dont stay stuck up explore there's so much things that u need to unravel
mary
Hello too.
mary
Hi, Todd I just want to share this to you. You see love is a two-way you give and receive its never a one-way road if you get what I mean. I know its hard for you but your significant other should understand you, it's not always him/her that needs to lend a caring, support, understanding. Your not
mary
dumb neither your significant other so both of you should talk about it and tell him/her what you've been through in the relationship. Don't hate on me Todd I'm just giving my opinion.
mary
What do you think the kind of relationship you have? All they tell you is indeed true and has point but are you clear with your relationship?
Dark
All he/she wants is to feel some importance so give him the importance he is grieving for and always when your in a conversation talk about his point of view and encourage him to talk about himself more.
Abdirahman
When you disagree something with him don't oppose him just say you maybe correct but this what I thought and then say your opinion. Just remember that you cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him to find it within himself. Be wiser than other people if you can; but do not tell them so.
Abdirahman
If they truly love you they will never hurt you. when you love someone you show you love them, not with words but with actions. show you they care, that you are important to them. From experience I have learnt that words mean nothing. you love someone, prove it
Jessamine
Just A fact me and Dark the way we said it or type in this chat Todd is not rude or try to be offensive. Just to clear things out.
mary
@Jo exactly! it's almost textbook. The longer he continues to get his ego fed, he'll continue to disrespect her. either he needs a therapist or someone to teach him that he isn't that important.
Eduardo
You know guys, LOVE is a very big thing to deal with. It's a thing that confuses everybody, a great topic for argument. I think the best way to deal with your problem is to know yourself.We can't keep on advising you like you should do this and that or believe this or that or follow this or that.
Dark
We perceive things differently, it's all clear. I'm not offending anyone in here. I'm sorry for my words. That's just how things go with my head. I'm not even good in love.
Dark
I agree. Short tempered people are evey where. I'm Short-tempered. People change when they want to. So, it could me a minute - days to years and they'll either change, or not. but the conclusion comes down to you both. Not how anyone ones judging the relationship.
Gianni
I can't see the conversations
Husna Reply
i think its delete randomly
Uzair
yes probably
nazranna
hi
Fyke
hey
nazranna
ahoy wah gwaan
Tumo
Helloo everybody!
Jo
Hey☺
vidisha
Helo
Anna
hello
aravinth
Any opinions about narcasissts?
Jo
I cant see the conversations
motherearth Reply
?
Sma
!
Uzair
put some glasses
riadh
?
Sma
open your eyes wide
Nicki
Guys can you give any idea what are the current challenges in educational psychology
Siena
how do you use reverse psychology?
DubZeus Reply
dont use it
Eduardo
when dealing with kids,or young adolescent. Attempting to maybe alter the way they either percieve or feel about themselves, situation,person, ...
Jo
It is not the best method to use expecially in certain situations. It doesn't work on everyone and I know some cases where it has led to rifts.
im in accord,i guess it would depend on the situation and the way it's being expressed...opinion?
Jo
I 100% agree. I know cases where it has worked and cases where it has not. You need to analyse the situation before trying it out but once again it works on some people and not on others.
can someone please answer the proposed question
King
Hello, can I ask what are the current issues in educational psychology?
Siena
Oh sorry
Siena
Hi
Uzair
can anyone give me a personality test
Evie Reply
look4 one online
Barrera
yeah google can help u
Nicki
***personalityperfect.com/test/free-personality-test/
Vincent
what is crisis intervention
Suprabha Reply
Crisis intervention means immediate methods use to help an individual in a crisis situation.
vidisha
I'm can't understand anxiety disorder
reshma Reply
What do you think about these studies
reshma
anxiety is not a dieses it's just a illusion of people getting more stress and having or going from bad time
Meditation
anxiety can cure by simple method like happy Ness spending time with friends and family and many more
Meditation
A disease is a pathophysiological response to internal or external factors. A disorder is a disruption to regular bodily structure and function.
Megan
Anxiety is a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.
Megan
:)
Megan
or even compartmentalising
Megan
OK so now I must ask what about when you're anxiety is very elevated and cause physical symptoms?lol
Megan
Anxiety can be normal in stressful situations such as public speaking or taking a test. Anxiety is only an indicator of underlying disease when feelings become excessive, all-consuming and interfere with daily living
Meditation
I agree with you whole heartedly. but I value other opinions....of course it's small-minded to assume someone else is wrong when referring to a study of something that is neither mattered matter or energy, unmeasurable in some aspects.
Megan
I truly hope that came out the way I wanted! I didn't mean I didn't want your advice because I thought weu huess would like you
Megan
correction your thoughts were very helpful and intriguing
Megan
@reshma i would like to know the relation between subconscious and brain wave patterns
AMITH
interesting conversation
Sheila
Amith your question I'm catched... That a answer is subconscious mind has 4types of brain waves... That is alpha, beta, Gama, delta... That solve
reshma
the impulsive thoughts in subconscious mind can generate a pattern of brain wave which having the the core relation with the past events of thoughts throughout the life.. so ..what is we hypnotize with generating a better Gamma brain wave patter .. that might solve a hell lot of chaos i guess
AMITH
I am interested in the field of psychology. Can someone tell me a little about the field, before I make a decision.
Kimberly Reply
This is the most interesting field of study with a broader scope in our lives. Psychology is the scientific study of mental processes and human behaviors.
Javaria
It will help you to understand your own behaviors as well as other people's behaviors and will enable you to cope with them very well
Javaria
okay thank u
Kimberly
Is there any relationship between criminology and psychology ?
Vimal
yes, criminology the study of crime and criminals; like their behavior and mind
Kimberly
Is psychological disorders responsible for juvenile delinquency ? If, yes then how ?
Vimal
I'm a psychology student
reshma
OK what is the psychological study of human soul?
Roger
what is a good job i could get in pyschology
Kimberly
Is anyone to answer my question ?
Vimal
Human behavior, mind perception, then personality, thinking process always
reshma
Human behavior, mind perception, then personality, thinking process always
reshma
Please...
Vimal
Look i started this question. What good paying jobs can i get in psychology?
Kimberly
would u guys like to join in chat about it
Barrera
is it something really worth my time
Kimberly
like i NEED to know
Kimberly
Industrial psychology,clinical psychology, counseling psychology, always there ur can payed this job... Choice is yours
reshma
Yes next question
reshma
ive looked at all the fields math, science, art, English, history, music and nothing stuck. is pysch worth it. like what's the work load
Kimberly
what SAT score do i need for a good college.
Kimberly
what GPA?
Kimberly
General psychology
reshma
I am a research scholar (Law) and my topic is related to child in conflict with law. so I want to know psychological, sociological effect on child behaviour.
Vimal
Yes you see a book prefer from developmental psychology.. Thats you need all answers Mr. Vimal jha
reshma
Thanks. Bye
Vimal
would u guys like to join the chat with others
Barrera
psychology has a vast array of fields you can study/work in but it's not to take lightly there's a lot of work
Megan
You say what do you want? Barrera
reshma
You have many work but that manage a psychology only so don't say anything Mrs. Megan Green
reshma
Psychology is always helpful and joining our blood.. So dnt say anything bad for psychology
reshma
Perhaps someone who is going to be a part of such an important field, should have the capability of understanding the extensive nature of such a controversial science museum
Megan
pardon me....science. not museum
Megan
OK you send its correct but you speak think after speak.
reshma
psychology is way of expressing our unknown and unpredictable answer just bye similar simple meaning 😇😇
Meditation
I think borderline personality personally is constantly seeking stimulation through drugs sex even suicidal gestures. it rough. do you'll know any meds that help?
Bryant
I have BPD. In my opinion there are no meds that can stop anyone from themselves. Out tendencies and our addictive personalities are more ingrained in us than most realize. It's not just how we are. It's how we think, how our brains work. Our addictive personality is the way our brains cope
Amber
Meds can help us learn how to manage. But for anything to truly change,we must learn self control. gain an understanding of how our minds work. and manage it
Amber

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Source:  OpenStax, Psychology. OpenStax CNX. Feb 03, 2015 Download for free at https://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11629/1.5
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