The theory of psychosexual development, proposed by Sigmund Freud, states that successful completion of the 5 psychosexual stages (oral, anal, phallic, latency and genital stages) results in a healthy personality. A newborn baby is born with psychosexual energy or libido. The child’s libido centers on behavior affecting the primary erogenous zone (mouth, anus, genitals) of his age; he cannot focus on the primary erogenous zone of the next stage without resolving the developmental conflict of the immediate one . At each stage little libido is deposited, the stage is resolved and the child moves on to the next stage. Overindulgence in a stage is called fixation, where a large amount of libido is deposited. The child becomes fixated at that stage until he is able to resolve it and move on to the next. Fixating on a particular stage, determines the method of obtaining satisfaction that will dominate and affect his adult personality .
The oral stage begins at birth through 18 months. According to the pleasure principle, the id dominates this stage, as the ego and superego have not yet been developed and the infant has no personality (identity) . The erogenous zone or focus of libidinal gratification is the mouth. Infants derive pleasure from feeding from the mother’s breast and from exploring their environment by placing objects in their mouths. Because the infant is entirely dependent upon adults (who are responsible for the child’s basic needs, such as feeding), the infant also develops a sense of trust and comfort through this oral pleasure. To resolve this stage, the child must become less dependent upon caretakers (weaned).
Erikson believed that people develop in psychosocial stages. He emphasized developmental change throughout the human life span. In Erikson's theory, eight stages of development result as we go through the life span. Each stage consists of a crisis that must be faced. According to Erikson, this crisis is not a catastrophe but a turning point. The more an individual resolves the crises successfully, ...
A person who is orally fixated and “stuck” at this stage may be over-dependent on others and may seek oral stimulation through smoking, drinking, or eating .
The anal stage is from 18 months to 3 years. This is called the anal stage because Freud believed the erogenous zone moved from the mouth to the anus and that infants got pleasure from withholding and releasing their feces at will during toilet training . The ego develops during this stage because the child now is starting to understand social norms and that they can’t “go” when and where they want to “go.” An anally fixated adult may be obsessively clean and orderly and enjoy having control over others. On the other hand, children whose parents are too lenient during this phase may grow up to become messy and disorganized .
The phallic stage follows the anal stage and is from 3 to 6 years. At this time the ego is developed. During this stage, the primary focus of the libido is the genitals. The child also starts to notice the difference between men and women and begins to identify with the same sex parent. In boys, Freud described the Oedipus complex. This is when boys start to sexually desire their mother and see the father as a threat, afraid that the father will hurt them for wanting her exclusively for his own, a term called castration anxiety. The love turns into sexual desire when the erogenous zone moves from the mouth to the anus and genitals. In boys, this is resolved through assuming identity by copying their fathers. . In girls, a similar experience along with similar feelings is called the Electra complex. Freud believed that girls experienced penis envy and their love for their father becomes erotic and envious, wishing they had a penis of her own. In girls, this is resolved by repressing their desire for their fathers and replacing it with a desire for a baby of their own. Fixation at this stage develops a phallic character, which is reckless, resolute, self-assured, and narcissistic–excessively vain and proud. The failure to resolve these conflicts can also cause a person to be afraid or incapable of close love .
For all intensive purposes, my paper considers the use of the masculine pronoun with offenders, and the feminine pronoun with victims, though I recognize that it happens either way. Imagine Think back to third grade. Think of the classroom you sat in at school, and think of the clothes you were wearing, the teacher at the front of the room. Think of every detail you can remember. Now try and ...
Following the phallic stage is the latency period. This is a period where the libido or sexual drive lies dormant. During this time the child concentrates on asexual activities such as school, activities, sports and same-sex friendships. This period lasts from age 6 to puberty. This stage is important in the development of social and communication skills and self-confidence.
The last stage is the genital stage, which lasts from puberty to death. The superego is developed at this time. During this stage, the individual develops a strong sexual interest in the opposite sex and goes from masturbation or self-pleasuring (instinct) to intercourse with another person. Successful resolution of this stage will result in a well-balanced, warm and caring relationship . Sexual perversions could develop if fixation occurs during this stage. At the end of this stage, the person who has worked it all out is psychologically well-adjusted and balanced. According to Freud to achieve this state you need to have a balance of both love and work .
In conclusion, according to Sigmund Freud, successful completion of each of the 5 steps will result in a healthy, well-balanced personality. Fixation at any one of these stages will define the child’s personality as an adult until the immediate stage is resolved and all 5 stages successfully completed. By age 5, the child’s personality along with his ego and superego are developed. Unsuccessful completion of the 5 psychosexual stages will result in sexual and/or emotional problems in adulthood.