Sexual attraction towards parent of opposite sex: Oedipus Complex

235 0

Yes! you read that right. And this happens to little kids of 3-6 year-olds. Psychology had always fascinated me and when I finally opted to study it, this was one of the most interesting topic I came across. Sigmund Freud, popularly known as father of modern psychology, proposed that psychological development of a child happens in a series of fixed stages. The third stage being phallic stage is revelation of sense of self through genitalia. The libido is concentrated at understanding and exploring difference in genitals of one’s own and other sex. This leads to a conflict involving parents.

Basic idea of oedipus complex

A little boy is jealous of his father due to his mother’s divided attention between him and his father. He desires to possess his mother thereby wanting to eliminate his father so that there is no one in competition with him. So when he weighs his options to get rid of his father, he faces a new dilemma. His rival, The father who is stronger amongst them will cut off what he loves the most, his penis. This is known as castration anxiety. The fear of losing his best feature forces him to repress his desire of getting his mother just to himself. Therefore, he starts identifying with his father in hopes of gaining a large part of his mother’s attention by becoming like his father.

This does not end with only males. There is a female counterpart called as Electra complex which was coined by Freud’s student Carl Jung.

Electra Complex

The little girl discovers that she lacks a penis. An angry girl thinks that her mother is responsible for castrating her and starts resenting her mother. This is called as penis envy. The girl decides to identify with her mother to get her father’s attention. She substitutes her yearn for a penis with bearing a baby, her father’s baby. She represses her desires when she passes onto next psychosexual stage.
You can witness its examples in ‘Haider’ where haider is attracted to her mother; in T.V. series ‘Bates Motel’, a remake of  Alfred hitchcock’s 1960 thriller ‘Psycho’ and in ‘Sons and Lovers’ a novel by D.H.Lawrence.

Facebook Comments

Related Post

There are 1 comments

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.