Oedipus and the Sphinx , by Gustave Moreau , The oral character who is frustrated at this stage, whose mother refused to nurse him on demand or who truncated nursing sessions early, is characterized by pessimism, envy, suspicion and sarcasm. The psychoanalyst Freud noted that "Hans had to be told many things that he could not say himself" and that "he had to be presented with thoughts, which he had, so far, shown no signs of possessing". He reported that in the insular matriarchal society of the Trobriand, boys are disciplined by their maternal uncles, not their fathers; impartial, avuncular discipline. During the latency period, children pour this repressed libidal energy into asexual pursuits such as school, athletics, and same-sex friendships.
Latency Period The resolution of the phallic stage leads to the latency period, which is not a psychosexual stage of development, but a period in which the sexual drive lies dormant. The complex has its roots in the little girl's discovery that she, along with her mother and all other women, lack the penis which her father and other men posses. The psychological difference between the phallic and genital stages is that the ego is established in the latter; the person's concern shifts from primary-drive gratification instinct to applying secondary process-thinking to gratify desire symbolically and intellectually by means of friendships, a love relationship, family and adult responsibilities. Despite mother being the parent who primarily gratifies the child's desires, the child begins forming a discrete sexual identity — "boy", "girl" — that alters the dynamics of the parent and child relationship; the parents become the focus of infantile libidinal energy. The psychoanalyst Freud noted that "Hans had to be told many things that he could not say himself" and that "he had to be presented with thoughts, which he had, so far, shown no signs of possessing". The stage lasts approximately one and one-half years. Both frustration and overindulgence lock some amount of the child's libido permanently into the stage in which they occur; both result in a fixation. With the advent of toilet training comes the child's obsession with the erogenous zone of the anus and with the retention or expulsion of the feces. Architecture, transportation, and foods such as bananas and hot dogs resemble the basic shape of a penis or phallus and therefore evoke a connection to male sexuality and power. At particular points in the developmental process, he claimed, a single body part is particularly sensitive to sexual, erotic stimulation. Electra Complex For girls, the Oedipus or Electra complex is less than satisfactory. Sexual instinct is directed to heterosexual pleasure, rather than self-pleasure like during the phallic stage. Plus, for Freud, all of this is unconscious, so the child is not aware of it. Any neuroses established during the fourth, latent stage, of psychosexual development might derive from the inadequate resolution either of the Oedipus conflict or of the Ego's failure to direct his or her energies towards socially acceptable activities. As the boy has noticed that women, his mother in particular, have no penises, he is struck by a great fear that his father will remove his penis, too. Irrationally, the boy thinks that if his father were to find out about all this, his father would take away what he loves the most. The genital stage affords the person the ability to confront and resolve his or her remaining psychosexual childhood conflicts. This character is neat, precise, orderly, careful, stingy, withholding, obstinate, meticulous, and passive-aggressive. Phallic Stage 3 to 5 or 6 years Sensitivity now becomes concentrated in the genitals and masturbation in both sexes becomes a new source of pleasure. Early or harsh potty training can lead to the child becoming an anal-retentive personality who hates mess, is obsessively tidy, punctual and respectful of authority. On the Electra complex, Freud was more vague. The consequence of this is that the boy takes on the male gender role, and adopts an ego ideal and values that become the superego. Despite mother being the parent who primarily gratifies the child's desires, the child begins forming a discrete sexual identity — "boy", "girl" — that alters the dynamics of the parent and child relationship; the parents become the focus of infantile libidinal energy. The libido is dormant. Freud's highly controversial theory of psychosexual development is based upon male superiority, penises being the main anatomical difference between the sexes and what the year-old boy learns is his source of power. The Phallic Symbol Anything penis-shaped is considered a phallic symbol. The child is now fully aware that they are a person in their own right and that their wishes can bring them into conflict with the demands of the outside world i.
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